Amazon's AWS unit gets OK to build $800 million data facility in Argentina

The logo of Amazon Web Services (AWS) is seen during the 4th annual America Digital Latin American Congress of Business and Technology in Santiago, Chile, September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina has given the go-ahead to Inc’s Web Services division AWS to build an $800-million data facility in Buenos Aires, which would mark a massive investment for the company in South America, according to a provincial bulletin dated Oct. 24.

The facility will be built in a free trade area, offering low taxes, in Rosales, near the port city of Bahia Blanca.

An AWS spokeswoman declined to comment on the type of data facility the Bahia Blanca project would be - or whether it is different from its previously-announced “Edge” location - though the investment size suggests a significant facility.

Argentina and Chile have both been competing to lure AWS to build a fully-fledged data center for the region in their respective countries, given the size of investment.

AWS said in June it would bolster its presence in Latin America with a smaller “Edge” location in Argentina, its first in the country to help speed service for local users.

That so-called “Edge,” would also be located in capital Buenos Aires, where AWS opened an office in April 2018, and will help deliver data, videos and applications at higher speeds and improve cyber security, the company said.

Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Hugh Bronstein; additional reporting by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Nick Zieminski