Amazon Web Services will invest more than $13bn in Australia over the next five years as it expands its cloud computing operations in Melbourne and Sydney and works towards running its data centres entirely on renewable energy.
The Sydney region of AWS’s cloud operations has been in place since 2012, with $9.2bn spent in the decade since the launch. The expected growth in spending over the next five years accounts for the Melbourne region opening up last month.
The investment in the expansion and operation of the two centres will bring in 11,000 full-time-equivalent positions, the company estimated, including direct employees, contractors and construction, maintenance, engineering and communications suppliers.
The Australia and New Zealand country director at AWS Worldwide Public Sector, Iain Rouse, said the spending covered a variety of needs of data centres, noting that the company had spent $620m on network infrastructure such as fibre links.
He said companies in Sydney and Melbourne were choosing where to host their services based on where their customers are located.
“If I can give you a faster transaction, to book a flight or book a ride share or do banking … I can make a decision to [host] from Melbourne or [host] from Sydney,” Rouse said.
Amazon’s customers include Atlassian, Qantas, NAB and government agencies including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, NSW Health Pathology and the Western Australian Department of Education.
The company has also been expanding to “local zone” services that provide similar cloud services to people in Perth, with Brisbane set to be announced soon.
The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, welcomed the investment on Tuesday.
“Economic and infrastructure investment from cloud providers like Amazon Web Services helps create jobs, advances digital skills, boosts innovation and uplifts local communities and businesses,” he said.
“The Australian government acknowledges AWS’s investment into the nation over the past decade and welcomes its planned investment over the next five years, the full-time jobs supported annually and contribution to the nation’s GDP.”
The chief executive of the Technology Council of Australia, Kate Pounder, said the increasing availability of cloud infrastructure in Australia would help grow Australia’s software sector.
AWS has offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra and will have a combined AWS and Amazon retail office in Melbourne from late 2023.
Amazon has estimated it will reach 100% renewable energy by 2025. It has two solar farms in NSW, which generate 392,000MWh of energy each year.
A windfarm being built in Hawkesdale in regional Victoria will bring in 717,000MWh when operational, which will go to powering Amazon’s operations.
“I think there’ll always be more for us to do around the space, but these are physical facilities in Australia,” Rouse said. “We’re not trying to offset energy generated in Sweden against consumption in Australia. These are specifically installed in Australia.”