Datacenter operators Equinix and Digital Realty Trust are stocking up on diesel fuel at European locations. The companies hope to stave off shortages that may arise during a winter that may bring shortages of fuel amidst the war between Russia and Ukraine. Anna Gross and Harry Dempsey report in the Financial Times:
The world’s two biggest data centre operators are stockpiling generator fuel as the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens winter power blackouts across Europe.
Equinix, the global market leader with a market capitalisation of $64bn, and its $38bn rival Digital Realty Trust said they were buying extra shipments of diesel to provide back-up power to ensure continuous operation at their European sites.
“We’ve been doing contingency planning since the war in Ukraine broke out,” said Gary Aitkenhead, Equinix’s senior vice-president of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. “We don’t ever expect to have to run for more than a few hours, or at worst case a day, on diesel but we’re prepared to run for up to a week.”
The US groups’ contingency planning comes as companies providing critical energy-intensive infrastructure such as data centres and telecoms networks rush to instigate emergency plans to avoid service interruptions.
BT Group, the UK’s largest telecoms group, said that while it was not seeking to procure additional back-up power for the winter, it was assessing which of its non-critical hardware could be switched off to reduce power consumption in the coming months.
One of the UK’s largest equipment rental groups, which did not want to be named, said it had been stockpiling extra diesel generators in anticipation of a scramble ahead of winter.
Russia’s war on Ukraine has prompted an unprecedented rise in energy prices in Europe, as the EU and UK seek to wean themselves off Russian gas and Moscow chokes supply in retaliation for their support of Kyiv.
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