Search engine giant Google is set to expand its data center in Chile three-fold with an investment of US$140 million.
The expansion will create 120 permanent jobs in addition to enabling local businesses and organizations to access data and online tools in a much faster way.
Operational since 2015 in Quilicura, a suburb in Santiago, the data center is a major asset for Google powering the company’s popular online products – including Gmail and YouTube – in South America. It was built with an initial investment of US$150 million.
The data center runs on solar power generated in the country’s Atacama Desert. The facility has also helped the company build capacity for its research activities in artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to Reuters.
It is not clear how many people the data center has employed in the Andean country.
The expansion of the data center is part of Google’s aim to capitalize on the growing demand for cloud services in Latin America, which, according to Frost and Sullivan, is on course to reach US$7.4 billion by 2022.
Analysts say the increased storage capacity will help the Silicon Valley company attract more customers to its cloud platform.
However, the news comes amid reports that Amazon Web Services has planned to house and mine data from Chile’s telescopes.