German Multinational Investment Bank
Data Centre Technical Authority
PTS performed the role of Lender Technical Advisor (LTA) regarding a large multi-faceted Data Centre construction programme, including a detailed review of all the existing facilities in current operation and a deep-dive review of new expansion projects, giving assurance around investment planning.
The Client, a German Multinational Investment Bank, required a Technical Authority (TA) review of several third-party Data Centre facilities that were all located in Norway and managed via a single owner/operator.
The TA was required to provide assurances to the client prior to them agreeing on future funding to the owner/operators. The TA included a detailed review of all the existing facilities that were all in current operation, in conjunction with a deep-dive review of new expansion projects. It was these new project expansion activities that the Data Centre operator was seeking to draw down expenditure payments on to grow the business.
PTS, as the appointed TA, undertook the review of the CapEx projects in line with the defined TA role definition parameters that PTS offer.
PTS undertook two separate review packages to satisfy the overall requirements of the client engagement. Each exercise package was referenced as activity 1 and activity 2.
The activity 1 package saw PTS undertake an in-depth review of all three of the Data Centre owners existing facilities, and where possible, identified any standard Data Centre technical design that would be re-used in the future. The detailed review of each site encompassed the following areas of each facility.
- General Site Overview
- Facility Layout
- Data Centre Building Construction
- Data Hall Layout and Configuration
- Electrical Systems
- Mechanical Systems
- Supporting Systems
To understand specifics of the above subjects, an in-depth analysis of each site supporting documentation was undertaken, in conjunction with physical site visits and discussions with the owner/operator representatives. This allowed PTS to fully understand the build and operational practices implemented at each site.
To satisfy the requirements of the activity 2 piece, which specifically looked to review new CapEx project activities, PTS reviewed the new projects that were to be aligned with the requested loan agreement. The PTS review certified the following:
1. That specifically for a growth CapEx project that the proposed design satisfied the design requirements of the Data Centre operators’ customer, as set out in the customer specification schedule section of the customer contract; and for a speculative CapEx project, that the design was consistent with delivering the Data Centre owners standard customer contract terms and conditions. In addition, for all the other proposed projects, the designs were consistent with the purpose of the project and aligned to industry best practice
2. The ready for service dates in the contract and Data Centre services agreements were achievable based upon the construction programme – where applicable
3. That the budgets allocated by the Data Centre owners for the construction was consistent with the design and timing to complete the construction program to the relevant technical specifications
4. Key contractors and sub-contractors working on the projects were qualified
5. Details on other matters which may have had a material impact on the cost or timing of the construction were addressed
6. PTS confirmed that the consistency between the CapEx project and contracted revenue from the customer contract where applicable
A single written report was then put together by PTS and issued to the client summarising the design and operation of each facility, in conjunction with the details around the site expansion activities. The document also contained PTS commentary and opinions which provided the detail and assurances needed to allow the client to proceed with the associated funding agreements.
Benefits to the client of using PTS’s TA due diligence services have been summarised as follows:
- A detailed written record of the technical makeup and ongoing operation of the Data Centre facilities was achieved
- Receipt of independent 3rd party trusted review, opinion, and commentary
- Specialist knowledge obtained from a leading Data Centre industry expert which has helped “de-risk” the client’s financial investment in the Data Centre industry
- Engaging PTS from the outset of the funding engagement allowed a good relationship to be formed between the Data Centre operator and PTS. Therefore, ongoing Project activities that relate to further drawdown packages can be seamlessly progressed quickly as existing project knowledge is already understood allowing concentration to be focussed on real-time events
- PTS’s specifically designed activity packages now support a repeatable and consistent approach for future client engagements
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