IBM, the world’s largest computer-services provider, said it won a contract to help China build Asia’s largest cloud- computing center by 2016.

The 620,000 square meter facility, which is to be owned by Range Technology, is expected to be completed in 2016, the companies announced on Tuesday. The data center aims to mainly serve government departments from China’s capital and across the country, but will also be open to banks and private enterprises.

The cloud computing center will be built in Langfang, a city between Beijing and Tianjin, in northern China. The data center is meant to support the development of a new information technology hub being built in the area, said IBM spokeswoman Harriet Ip. IBM and Range Technology signed an agreement on the data center last week in Chicago during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the U.S.

The data centers are located along a river and will be built according to the latest green construction concepts, said IBM’s Steve Sams, VP of global site and facilities services, a unit of Global Technology Services. In some cases, water evaporation techniques have been used to cool a data center’s ambient air in Google and Microsoft cloud data centers, instead of electricity-powered air conditioning.

The data center will support independent software vendors and enterprises with software product development, as well as help Langfang city develop e-government services, administration systems and food-and-drug safety services.

IBM, the vendor for the project, did not disclose the cost of the data center. But the company said Range Technology is spending about US$1.49 billion on the building of the Langfang Range International Information Hub, of which the data center will be a part.

The cloud-computing center is expected to employ between 60,000 and 80,000 people, according to Ip’s e-mail. Cloud computing allows customers to save money by storing data on remote servers that can be accessed via the Internet.

Range Technology Development was established in 2009 as an Internet, data-center service and telecommunications-network- services provider, according to its website.