News AWS launches Melbourne region, plans to invest $4.5B

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has added a second cloud region in Australia and announced plans to invest US$4.5 billion (A$6.8 billion) in the country until 2037. The 15-year infusion of capital will be used for data center construction and new jobs needed to support operations in the new region.

Located in Melbourne, the infrastructure region comprises three availability zones and operates alongside another region in Sydney, which has been in operation since November 2012. Plans for the Melbourne region were first announced in December 2020.

Its addition expands AWS’ global footprint to 99 Availability Zones in 31 regions, including 12 in the Asia Pacific region. Another 12 regions and four regions in Thailand, New Zealand, Israel and Canada are in the pipeline.

Each availability zone has its own power and cooling to support business continuity requirements, with infrastructure zones in “separate and distinct” locations, according to the US cloud provider.

It noted that as part of the projected cost of building and operating the Melbourne region, the $4.5 billion investment would support more than 2,500 full-time jobs a year from outside businesses. This will include building data centers and utility and facility costs, as well as construction, engineering and telecommunications work.

The construction and operation of the new region is expected to contribute US$10.6 billion (A$15.9 billion) to Australia’s GDP by 2037, AWS said. Its local clients include ANZ, Kmart, Pizza Hut, Ticketek, University of Melbourne and Victorian Land Registry Services.

AWS’ company-wide goal is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and AWS says it’s on track to fully power its operations with renewable energy by 2025.

It has invested in three renewable energy schemes in Australia, including two solar farms in New South Wales and a wind farm in Victoria. When all three projects are fully operational, the projects are expected to generate 717,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year, equivalent to the electricity consumed by nearly 115,000 local households each year.

Amazon has 57 renewable energy initiatives in the region, including a ground-mounted solar system in Singapore that is expected to generate 80,000 megawatt-hours of energy annually.

AWS announced plans for 10 local regions in the Asia Pacific region last February as part of adding 22 locations globally. The move to push cloud capabilities to the edge is in line with growing enterprise demand for ultra-low latency and distributed service delivery, the company said. The local region will span six Asia Pacific markets, including Auckland, Bangkok, Brisbane and Bangalore.

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