One of the world's biggest online retailers, Amazon, will today announce it is creating 1,200 jobs in Wales.
In a major economic boost for South-West Wales, the company will immediately start work on building one of its largest distribution and customer processing operations in Europe, with a massive 800,000 sq ft base near Swansea.
It is also understood that Wales is in line to secure another 1,000- plus job investment project, also involving a leading household international brand.
American-owned Amazon had identified a number of potential locations before opting to make its investment at a 33-acre site owned by the Assembly Government off Fabian Way in Jersey Marine - which is in the Neath Port Talbot local authority area.
The facility, which will store thousands of products from books to electrical equipment, will be equivalent in size to 10 football pitches.
The jobs will be a mixture of logistical and customer order processing positions, with Amazon confident that the first phase of the project, covering 400,000 sq ft, will be operational in October - in time for its busiest period in the lead-up to Christmas.
The inward investment success represents the biggest job creation project in Wales since 2000, when Irish-owned directory inquiry venture 118UK announced it was creating 1,400 jobs in South Wales, and Airbus at Broughton, Flintshire, confirmed a further 1,700 wing-making posts.
Amazon's full-time jobs will be created over a three to four-year period.
However, during the lead-up to Christmas, the site could take on around 1,500 temporary and part-time positions.
Goods from Amazon's new facility will be distributed across the UK, with the main domestic market being the south-east of England.
However, some goods could also be delivered to customers in continental Europe, particularly northern France.
There is also a possibility that Amazon could create hi-tech software jobs at the base, as all of its online technical functions are delivered in-house.
Amazon is one of the world's biggest brands, with tens of millions of customers globally.
When launched in 1994 it focused on selling books, but has since expanded to provide a wide range of consumer products, including electrical goods.
The new facility will be Amazon's fourth centre in the UK, alongside two smaller operations in Scotland and one in Luton.
The Jersey Marine site is being sold at market value, with the centre being developed by the Macquarie Goodman Group and then leased to Amazon.
Amazon is receiving financial assistance from the Assembly Government, including regional selective assistance.
Its value is not being disclosed, but it is understood to be in the region of £6m.
Allan Lyall, vice-president of European operations at Amazon, said, 'We are delighted that our fourth UK distribution centre is to be built in Wales.
'This new development will play an integral part in fulfilling current and future demand and we feel that the site's great location, coupled with the ability to draw from a pool of strong local talent, will make this an extremely successful operation.'
Enterprise Minister Andrew Davies said, 'The support provided by the Welsh Assembly Government through regional selective assistance and from our International Business Wales team was pivotal in winning this major project.
'This decision by Amazon means Wales will now be part of the multi-million-pound European market segment for on-line retailing and we welcome this significant foothold in Wales by a world-class company.'
Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Derek Vaughan, described the announcement as a good news day for the area.
He said, 'I am delighted to welcome a global company like Amazon to Neath Port Talbot as they expand their business into Wales.
'The new jobs will be a major employment boost for the county borough and Neath Port Talbot already has the skilled workforce available to meet the requirements of the company.
'The project has come to fruition thanks to the excellent working relationship between the Welsh Assembly Government, the International Business Wales team and Neath Port Talbot Council.'
As late as last December Wales was not even on the radar of Amazon, which could have opted for northern France - still in easy reach of the key South-East of England market.
However, Amazon contacted International Business Wales just before Christmas inviting them to make a pitch.
Director of International Business Wales, Ian Williams, and its director for Europe, Mike Hynda, then flew to Leipzig in Germany to make a case for Wales to Amazon's European manager.
In January, Amazon executives visited Wales where they were shown four potential sites for the distribution centre.
The executives were impressed by the quick turnaround of the Welsh proposition and the team work between International Business Wales, other Assembly officials and Neath Port Talbot Council.
Global e-retailing body IMRG last year placed Amazon at the top of the UK online retail list.
1. Amazon UK www.amazon.co.uk
2. Dell www.euro.dell.com
3. Argos www.argos.co.uk
4. Tesco.com www.tesco.com
5. Play.com www.play.com
6. Amazon.com www.amazon.com
7. Expedia.co.uk www.expedia.co.uk
8. easyJet www.easyjet.co.uk
9. RyanAir.com www.ryanair.com
10. Apple Computer www.apple.com