Keppel Capital has raised more than US$500m (€411m) from institutional investors in the first close of its newly-launched Keppel Data Centre Fund II.

The fund will focus on strategic investments in the fast-growing data centre sector in Asia-Pacific and Europe.

A spokesperson from Alpha Investment Partners, the manager of the fund, told IPE Real Assets that it had already identified a pipeline of deals.

Further rounds of capital raising are planned and the fund has a target of US$1bn.

With leverage and when fully invested, assets under management are expected to reach US$2.5bn.

Alvin Mah, CEO of Alpha Investment Partners, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitalisation for many businesses and governments alike, and further spurred growth of the data centre sector.”

He said the fund would, where possible, take advantage of Keppel Group’s expertise in ”sustainable technology and energy-efficiency to develop greener data centres”.

Data centres consume large amounts of energy to power and cool computing equipment and there is growing pressure to increase energy efficiency.

Wong Wai Meng, CEO of Keppel Data Centres, said: “We are collaborating with industry leaders to explore how the carbon footprint of data centres can be reduced.”

This could include development of floating data centre parks, tapping cold energy released from LNG re-gasification for cooling, hydrogen infrastructure for power generation, accelerating the adoption of renewable energy, and development of carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration systems.

Keppel Capital’s first data centre fund, Alpha Data Centre Fund, was launched in 2016. Today, its portfolio spans more than 1.38m sqft of gross floor area in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Germany, Australia and China.