China could build data center in Haiti as part of $4.7bn large scale reconstruction
Country is still recovering from one of its worst natural disasters with the need for humanitarian relief still part of everyday life.
The government of Port-au-Prince has accepted an investment of $4.71bn from China designed to help the country get back on its feet following 2010 deadly earthquake which killed more than 100,000 people.
The Port-au-Prince Municipal Renovation Project has been divided into six separate sub-projects, including water and drainage works; road work; environmental sanitation works; communications and information network with infrastructure; and reconstruction of the “old city” of Port-au-Prince.
Although the investment is still to be confirmed, within the ‘communications and information network with infrastructure’ sub-project, the capital is set to see the construction of an internet data centre.
According to a video released by Bati Ayiti, the company driving the effort to rebuild critical infrastructure, the data centre is set to also be used for city transportation management and as an emergency command dispatch system. In addition, the facility will be used for electronic policing, internet bandwidth and media services.
The Port-au-Prince Municipal Renovation Project also includes the deployment of communication infrastructure to improve coverage. The communications network will be based on municipal fiber-optics broadband network.
The plan also includes the construction of a new gas-fire power station and an upgrading of the distribution networks. Planned capacity for the network sits at 2000MW.
Haiti’s acceptance of the project was made by Port-au-Prince Mayor Ralph Youri Chevy in a letter addressed to to Xie Yong Jian, an Advisor to China’s Southwest Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute.
In the letter, he said: “After thorough research and prudent consideration, the municipal government hereby supports the implementation of the Port-au-Prince Municipal Renovation Project by leveraging international investment and finance.”
However, as the Huffington Post points out, the Chinese investment could take its time to materialise as “China needs to tread carefully through the cesspool of corruption” in Haiti.