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YTL Power confirms AI data centre deal with Nvidia; shares hit record high with YTL Corp

YTL Power confirms AI data centre deal with Nvidia; shares hit record high with YTL Corp

08 Dec 2023

YTL Power International Bhd has confirmed that it is going to collaborate with Nvidia Corp to build an AI infrastructure that will be powered by the US-based chip giant’s technology, with the first phase of the data centre expected to commence operations by the middle of next year.

The utility group announced the deal after market close, which saw its share price as well as that of its parent YTL Corp Bhd ending the trading session at record highs, as talks swirled earlier on Friday about a potential collaboration between the two companies after Reuters reported that they were in advanced talks over a data centre deal.

In a statement, YTL Power said the data centre, which will provide AI computing services to the country, will be owned and managed by YTL Power’s 60%-owned subsidiary YTL Communications Sdn Bhd and be hosted in YTL Power’s 500MW solar-powered Green Data Centre Park in Johor.

The new collaboration was announced at a meeting on the same day between Nvidia founder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Also present at the event was YTL Power managing director Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong and Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

“YTL will deploy Nvidia H100 Tensor Core GPUs, which power today’s most advanced AI data centres, and use Nvidia AI Enterprise software to streamline production AI. Nvidia AI Enterprise includes Nvidia NeMo, an end-to-end, cloud-native framework for building, customising, and deploying generative AI models from anywhere,” YTL Power said.

“Nvidia H100 GPUs deliver industry-leading generative AI and can speed up large language models (LLMs) by an incredible 30X compared with the previous-generation GPUs,” it added.

The utility group said it will not only provide green, energy-efficient AI infrastructure to scientists, developers and startups across the nation, but will also create AI-specific applications and services for its customers. “YTL plans to use Nvidia NeMo to customise and deploy a Malay language foundation model that will be sensitive to Malaysia’s multicultural heritage,” it said.

The AI data centre will also be the foundation for a digital economy powered by innovative solutions and applications built on Malaysia’s own LLMs, Yeoh said.

“This collaboration with Nvidia is poised to bring many benefits to the nation. Our green data centres and low-energy solutions are an ideal fit to be used with their (Nvidia’s) high-performance supercomputers. We are excited to begin this journey to bring our nation to the forefront of AI development,” Yeoh said.

YTL Power rose as much as 7.49% to RM2.44 on Friday, before paring gains to close at RM2.42, a closing record high — up 15 sen or 6.61% from Thursday’s close. The utilities group, which saw 43.77 million shares traded on Friday, is valued at RM19.74 billion.

YTL Corp, which controls 55.57% of YTL Power, climbed 15 sen or 9.74% to an all-time high of RM1.69 — valuing the group at RM18.63 billion. With 85.06 million YTL Corp shares traded, the counter was among the bourse’s most active counters on Friday.

Both YTL Power and YTL Corp have been heading north since March this year, with YTL Power having jumped 206.92% since, tracked by YTL Corp’s 201.79% climb during the period. Earlier this year, investors took cues from the utilities player being a big beneficiary of Putrajaya’s move to lift the renewable energy (RE) export ban, thanks to its power generation and retail footprint across the causeway in Singapore.

Speaking of Singapore, the island state’s annual 60MW cap on new data centres has been diverting investors to neighbouring Johor — where YTL Power’s 500MW Green Data Centre Park is located.

Nvidia boss Huang, who had a roundtable session with the media prior to his meeting with Anwar on Friday, said Malaysia has the potential to become a data centre infrastructure hub for Southeast Asia, while noting that AI data centres could become a new manufacturing sector in the country.

Nvidia is the world’s most valuable chipmaker and supplies technologies that power gaming PCs, data centres, AI applications, as well as generative AI. The chip giant has come to dominate the market for chips used in AI systems, at a time when the US is curbing export of high-end AI chips to countries like China, Iran and Russia.

Source: The Edge Malaysia