DUG Technology secures $5m contract with WA Gov

DUG Technology has announced it has secured $5 million in government funding for its first ‘data hall’ as part of its Geraldton High Performance Computing (HPC) Campus.

The ASX-listed firm revealed it has executed a Financial Assistance Agreement with the Western Australian State Government under the Investment Attraction Fund (IAF) under which it receive $5 million in grant funding.

The IAF, which was established as a $100 million commitment to attract new investment in Western Australia, opened last year. It enables investments in a number of industries while supporting the aims of Diversify WA, the state’s economic development framework by helping to grow and diversify the WA economy and create more local jobs.

According to DUG Technology, the first data hall will have a capacity of 400 petaflops of compute and enable a thirteen-fold growth in DUG’s compute power, once fully established, placing the facility amongst the largest supercomputers in the world.

The funds, which will be disbursed over a two-year period in accordance with agreed milestones, will initially be spent on construction of the first data hall and connected infrastructure, with the grant funding up to half of these costs.

The remaining costs will be funded through the company’s existing funds and cash from operations, DUG Technology said in the announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Following this, compute and storage assets will be transferred from the company’s West Perth data centre and will be increased to match demand, funded through asset-finance arrangements.

The firm will now proceed to sign a lease for 44.5 hectares of land for the construction of the campus and associated infrastructure.

According to DUG, the campus will deploy the company’s patented, immersion cooling solution, DUG Cool, a technology enabling DUG to build highly energy-efficient data centres.

In total, the campus will be designed to accommodate ten data halls with a potential four exaflop capacity.

“The project has the potential to be transformational for the business and for WA in data processing and storage,” DUG’s managing director, Matt Lamont, said.

“We have been committed to this project since 2021 and have been working through project funding solutions and groundworks required [for] the site.

“Geraldton is an ideal location for this campus with ready access to renewable power from wind and solar and a large physical space for expansion. The latency from Geraldton to Perth is just three milliseconds, hence the user experience will be near identical to working with the existing West Perth data centre. Fibre links from Geraldton to Singapore open new market opportunities.

Lamont added: “Importantly, the project has the support of the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation Ltd Board. DUG will partner with the Yamatji Nation People to provide a range of regional employment opportunities to the Geraldton community.”