Gulf Energy Invests $271M to Boost AI Data Center Facility

UTC by Godfrey Benjamin · 3 min read
Gulf Energy Invests $271M to Boost AI Data Center Facility
Photo: Gulf Energy Development / Facebook

Gulf Energy Development Plc’s foray into the digital asset sector started with a partnership with a Binance subsidiary to form Gulf Binance Co.

Sarath Ratanavadi, Thailand’s second-richest person, and Gulf Energy plans to capitalize on the burgeoning market around cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The energy billionaire seeks to enhance his holdings in data centers with a new investment.

As reported by Bloomberg, his company, Gulf Energy, together with its partners have announced an investment of 10 billion baht which is equivalent to $271 million, to expand their data center facility near Bangkok. This comes amidst increasing demand for cloud computing and AI solutions. It also follows an initial outlay on the suburban Bangkok data center.

Gulf Energy Expands to Crypto and AI

Gulf Energy Development Plc’s foray into the digital asset sector started with a partnership with a Binance subsidiary to form Gulf Binance Co. This firm later metamorphosed into Binance TH. Apparently, Gulf Energy invested in the Series Seed Preferred Stock issued by BAM Trading Services Inc, the operator of the regulated digital asset exchange. Although the exact worth of the investment was not disclosed.

Though the proposed trading platform was billed to launch in the second quarter of 2022, it was not made accessible to the public until much later. This was after it secured the necessary licenses and approvals from Thailand’s Ministry of Finance in May 2023.

With this new investment, the data center facility will see its energy consumption rise from its previously announced 25 megawatts to 50 megawatts. According to Gulf Energy Chief Financial Officer Yupapin Wangviwat, the deal is expected to be completed in March.

As a serial entrepreneur, Ratanavadi is boosting his portfolio to include virtual banking, cryptocurrency trading, and other technology businesses. Due to the excess capacity of electricity generation in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy, there is a rising demand for data centers. Concurrently, global tech companies are spending billions of dollars to spur cloud computing and AI services.

During a press conference in Bangkok, the energy billionaire said:

“We set the expansion of the second phase now because we expect a surge in demand for our data center services. A jump in AI adoption and cloud computing will substantially increase demand for our data center bandwidth.”

It is worth noting that Gulf Energy and Google parent company Alphabet Inc held a joint briefing recently where they discussed their cloud computing partnership in Thailand.

Malta Grabs a Piece of AI Hype

Meanwhile, many other companies are working towards claiming a slice of the ongoing AI hype. GO Plc, one of Malta’s top telecommunications companies, is looking to replace humans with AI for most of its operations. Currently, about 20% of all its marketing content is designed by AI and 30% of its codes are written using AI. This has obviously reduced the need for developers in the company.

The concerns around the use of AI tools, ranging from issues of deepfakes to AI crypto scams, have not deterred these companies from their newfound mission.

Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Cryptocurrency News, News, Technology News
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