Rosatom to build bitcoin mining facilities for rent

Rosatom to build bitcoin mining facilities for rent
Photo: A.Savin

Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation may become Russia’s first state-related company to embrace cryptocurrency miners. The corporation’s subsidiary Rosenergoatom is going to launch a mining hub near the Kalinin Nuclear Power Plant in Tver Oblast in addition to a data centre opened at the same venue in 2019.

A state-owned nuclear power plant in Russia may soon fuel a bitcoin mining hub, states CoinDesk. According to head of Data Centres and Digital Products at Rosatom’s subsidiary Rosenergoatom Sergey Nemchenkov, the company spent more than $4,8 million to build a 30-megawatt facility near the Kalinin Nuclear Power Plant in Udomlya, 200 kilometres northwest of Moscow. Rosenergoatom will not mine itself but sell additional electricity to heavy users and rent space for their equipment, similar to a data centre located near the plant.

“Both data centres and miners are large energy consumers with stable demand,” Nemchenkov explained. “For us, it’s a way to diversify.” Electricity for miners will cost 4-5 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is not the cheapest price around the globe, says CoinDesk. However, the project is designed to become a legitimate, reputable way to mine cryptocurrency right at the energy producer’s property. “It’s a totally legal deal,” Nemchenkov claimed.

Crypto mining farm in Iceland. Photo: Marco Krohn

Rosenergoatom expects to attract customers through partnership with ECOS-M, a company that serves as an intermediary between the venue and miners. “This is the company we’re planning to go a long way with,” said Nemchenkov adding that his company would open other facilities for mining if the partner managed to fill the field in Udomlya fast. In 2019, the two companies signed an MOU that included four Rosatom venues that might be filled with miners in the coming years in addition to Udomlya. Two of the sites are located in Siberia, one in the northern region of Murmansk and one in Kaliningrad Oblast.

Rosatom is the first big state-related entity to embrace miners in Russia. The company could become a serious competitor in the global market, as it plans to eventually open 240 megawatts or more of its power from several locations to the industry. For Rosenergoatom, the project is a by-product of its ambition to become a large data centre provider. While the company seems serious about working with miners, the new infrastructure can serve various use cases, according to Nemchenkov. If one day Russia bans cryptocurrencies or mining in particular, the venue can be upgraded and turned into a normal data centre, he said. “For the time being, we can host miners. If the mining story is over, we can host something else.”

By Anna Litvina
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