Google is planning to build its second Latin American data center in Uruguay.

According to Uruguayan paper El Observador, the new facility will be based in the southern city of Canelones. The company’s facility will be built on a 20-hectare (200,000 sq m) site in a duty-free tax zone called the Science Park. The construction date and project cost have yet to be revealed.

Negotiations for the facility began two years ago when former Industry Minister Carolina Cosse came to the United States and visited Google to try to get them to build a data center. In 2017, Google also helped deploy the Tannat submarine cable, a joint venture with state-owned telco Antel, that links Uruguay to Brazil and Argentina.

Google
– Sebastian Moss

Skills gap

According to the paper, Google also considered building in Uruguay back in 2013, but instead opted for Chile after discovering the lack of skilled workers.

At the time, the rector of ORT University in Montevideo, Jorge Grünberg, met a Google executive and encouraged him to set up a facility in his country. He said: “At a certain moment, the executive asked me how many Ph.D. graduates in Computing and Mathematics there are in Uruguay. I had to tell him, ‘they could be counted on your fingers.’

“He said, 'With those numbers it is impossible! Forget it.'”