A GIANT logistics centre for the online retailer Amazon will be built in El Prat de Llobregat, just outside Barcelona, as part of the multi-media empire's expansion plan.
Managing director of operations for Spain, Fred Pattje, says Amazon has signed a 'right to buy' contact with the owners of a plot of land just minutes from Barcelona airport, currently owned by the Institut Català del Sòl (Incasòl).
The 15-hectare site on the Mas Blau II industrial estate will cost €30 million, and works are likely to start in the summer.
Lawyers for the US firm – whose European domicile is in Luxembourg – will need to go through the contract terms with a fine-toothed comb and analyse utility supplies necessary before signing off the operation.
Only then will Amazon hand over the cash.
At the same time, Amazon plans to set up an express delivery headquarters on the C/ Rosselló in Barcelona, in the building that used to belong to the Gustavo Gili publishing house.
Amazon offers same-day delivery on some of its products and in certain locations, often guaranteeing receipt within two hours of orders being placed.
This has yet to roll out to Spain beyond the capital, but with express delivery centres in Madrid and, soon, in Barcelona, much of the centre and north-east of the country will be covered.
Amazon already has a logistics centre in San Fernando de Henares, on the outskirts of Madrid, which has recently been expanded with two new tower blocks for storage to allow the firm to continue increasing its offer to customers in Spain – currently around 86 million items.
Pattje says the new logistics and delivery centre, and expansion of the existing plant in Madrid, are aimed at satisfying the ever-growing demand of customers in Spain and the rest of Europe.
New jobs are guaranteed, although it is not yet known how many.