Johor preps for future water needs, including for data centres

JOHOR BARU: The Johor government will look for additional water resources for future industrial use with Johor Special Water, a subsidiary of Permodalan Darul Takzim tasked with carrying out the job.

Johor investment, trade, consumer affairs and human resources committee chairman Lee Ting Han said that although the current water supply in the state was sufficient, early preparations should be made for the long term.

These include building new water treatment plants and installing new piping to connect water sources to new areas, as well as exploring new water sources through Johor Special Water.

“We are open to alternative sources, such as underground water or desalination.

“Johor Special Water is actively exploring these options,” he said when contacted.

Lee also said all data centres in the state should focus on using renewable technology and conserving water and electricity.

He said the state government had recently decided to implement precautionary measures to ensure the planned development of data centres is well-organised and benefits the people of Johor.“In collaboration with the Johor Town and Country Planning Department (PlanMalaysia), the state government has drafted the Johor Data Centre Development Planning Guidelines.

“These guidelines serve as a uniform reference for local authorities and relevant agencies to coordinate and monitor the planning of data centre development,” he added.

Lee said he had also chaired the first meeting of the Johor data centre coordination and development committee last Wednesday.

“The committee will assist the state government and local authorities in coordinating the development of data centres in Johor and providing advice on matters related to data centre development before applications are considered by local councils.

“They are also responsible for considering and making recommendations for the development of data centres in existing or abandoned buildings and submitting information and reports related to data centre development to the state planning committee,” he added.

The committee members consist of state and federal agencies including the Johor Economic Planning Division, Invest Johor, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, Iskandar Regional Development Authority, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Ranhill SAJ, Johor Land and Mines Office, Department of Environment and PLANMalaysia, which acts as the secretariat.

“There is a need to consider efficient electricity and water usage based on power usage effectiveness (PUE) and water usage effectiveness (WUE), with reference to industry best practices and experiences from other countries,” said Lee.

Commenting on the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ), he said Malaysia and Singapore recently held a ministerial meeting.

“We are now working on a joint workshop between officials of both countries.

“To keep the momentum going, we are also discussing more joint investment and trade forums to keep the business community updated on the progress,” he said.

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