AWS launches Melbourne region, plans $4.5B investment


Amazon Web Services (AWS) has added a second cloud region in Australia and announced plans to invest $4.5 billion (AU$6.8 billion( in the country through to 2037. The 15-year funds injection will go towards the construction of data centres and new jobs needed to support operations at the new region. 

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

Its addition pushes up AWS’ global footprint to 99 availability zones across 31 regions, including 12 regions in Asia-Pacific. Another 12 zones and four regions are on the pipeline for Thailand, New Zealand, Israel, and Canada. 

Each availability zone has independent power and cooling to support business continuity requirements, with infrastructure regions located in “separate and distinct” locations, according to the US cloud vendor. 

It noted that the $4.5 billion investment would go towards supporting more than 2,500 full-time roles at external businesses a year, as part of projected expenses for the construction and operation of the Melbourne region. This would include building of data centres and utility and facility costs, as well as jobs in construction, engineering, and telecommunications. 

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

With a company-wide target to hit net-zero carbon by 2040, AWS said it was on track to fully power its operations with renewable energy by 2025. 

It has invested in three renewable energy initiatives in Australia, including two solar farms in New South Wales and a wind farm in Victoria. When all three are operational, the projects are anticipated to generate 717,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year, or the equivalent of power almost 115,000 local households consume annually. 

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

AWS last February unveiled plans to set up 10 local zones in Asia-Pacific, as part of a global rollout to add 22 locations to the fold. It said the move to push cloud capabilities to the edge was in line with growing enterprise demand for ultra-low latency and distributed service delivery.  Local zones would span six Asia-Pacific markets, including Auckland, Bangkok, Brisbane, and Bengaluru.

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