Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to invest $13.2 billion in its existing cloud infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne from 2023 to 2027 to meet growing customer demand for cloud services in Australia.
According to the newly launched AWS Economic Impact Study (EIS) for Australia, this investment is estimated to contribute $35 billion to Australia’s total gross domestic product (GDP) by 2027.
This planned investment into AWS data centre infrastructure in Australia will support an estimated average of 11,000 full-time jobs including construction, facility maintenance, engineering, and telecommunications, among other roles.
The new EIS details AWS’s investment since 2012 and its planned investment by 2027 in Australia, and the ripple effects that come from that investment such as workforce development, training and skilling opportunities, community impacts such as education for students, and sustainability initiatives.
“Economic and infrastructure investment from cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) helps create jobs, advances digital skills, boosts innovation, and uplifts local communities and businesses,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese 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.”
Since the launch of the AWS Asia Pacific (Sydney) Region in 2012, AWS has already invested more than $9.1 billion in Australia.
This includes both capital and operating expenditures associated with constructing, operating, and maintaining the AWS Sydney Region.
AWS estimates that this investment added $19.2 billion to Australia’s total GDP and supported an annual average of over 5,000 jobs at local Australian businesses.
The total investment of $9.1 billion includes $630 million of investment in network infrastructure to extend the AWS cloud and edge infrastructure across Australia and, with telecommunications partners, to facilitate high-speed fibre connectivity within, and between, AWS Availability Zones.
Expanding the infrastructure presence, AWS launched its AWS Asia Pacific (Melbourne) Region in January 2023 to provide Australian customers with more options to run workloads with even greater resilience and availability, securely store data in Australia, and serve end users with even lower latency.
Amazon will open a new combined AWS and Amazon retail office in Melbourne in late 2023 to house its Victorian-based workforce. This is in addition to AWS’s headquarters in Sydney and established offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra.
“For over a decade, AWS has invested billions of dollars into Australia through infrastructure and jobs, and worked closely with the public sector, and local customers and partners, to be a force multiplier across the nation,” AWS A/NZ managing director Rianne Van Veldhuizen said.
“Cloud computing is the backbone of Australia and its businesses, helping drive innovation across many key industries in our thriving economy.
We are committed to positive social and economic impact, investing in local community engagement programs, workforce development initiatives, cloud infrastructure, and renewable energy project investments.
“Our plan to invest more than $13 billion into the country over the next five years will help create more positive ripple effects, further solidifying Australia’s position in the global economy.”
AWS customers include the likes of Atlassian, Qantas, NAB, Swoop Aero, Omniscient Neurotechnology, ABS, NSW Health Pathology and WA Department of Education.
Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge and became its first signatory in 2019. Currently, more than 400 organisations spanning 55 industries and 35 countries have signed the Pledge. In 2021, Canva was the first Australian signatory to The Climate Pledge.
As part of its Pledge commitment, Amazon is also on a path to power its operations with 100% per cent renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the original 2030 target.
The company is also touting itself as the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy and in Australia, has committed to offtake 262 megawatts (MW) combined in clean energy capacity across three utility-scale renewable projects. Two of these, located in Suntop and Gunnedah in New South Wales (NSW) are already operational as of May 2022.
Once the wind farm in Hawkesdale, Victoria, also becomes operational, it will boost the projects’ combined yearly renewable energy generation to 717,000 MWh or enough for nearly 115,000 Australian homes.