Rusal to Establish Data Center at Nadvoitsy Aluminium Smelter in NW Russia

Rusal to Establish Data Center at Nadvoitsy Aluminium Smelter in NW Russia
Voitsky Padun Waterfall. Source: Wikimedia

Russian Federation aluminium juggernaut U.C. Rusal yesterday proclaimed the commencement of development for a data center at Nadvoitsy Aluminium Smelter in the Russian Republic of Karelia.

Rusal says the data center now in development will provide the firm a raft of IT services, including mechanisms for analysis of large data projects, machine learning, and cryptocurrency mining-related operations.

The data center is a partnership between Rusal and AA!LAB, the latter being a Bulgarian start-up firm founded by Russian Alexey Zenkov that specializes in creating industrial capacities for mining cryptocurrencies.

According to Rusal, the first phase of construction will consist of the installation of 5,000 computers, servers, and workstations. The center, which is slated to be commissioned in the summer of 2018, will ultimately require 6 mW of power.

Rusal says that the frigid northern location, coupled with the area’s access to renewable energy, enhances the likelihood of the project’s success. Low temperatures make for faster computing and reduce the need for artificial cooling methods, and EuroSibEnergo’s Onda HPP will provide renewable energy to the center via electrical infrastructure put into place by Rusal for Nadvoitsy Aluminium Smelter. At present, Onda HPP has an installed capacity of 80 mW, with an average annual output of 416 million kWh.

Rusal’s director for new projects Alexey Arnautov provided further details regarding the progress of the project.

“Currently RUSAL is engaged in negotiations with potential partners to determine the design and capacity of the data center in Nadvoitsy. The Company is ready to re-equip the number of offices within existing facilities of the smelter in order to accommodate servers and network equipment. We have also allocated around 5 hectares of vacant area within the production site perimeter for future needs of the data center’s development.”

He continued by pointing out that the commencement of the first phase alone will yield around two dozen high-tech jobs for the area.