One of the largest mining facilities in the world is set to open for business in Kazakhstan in September.
Mining facility operator Enegix says the facility, with output to rival a small power station, will be ready to open its 180 megawatt (MW) data center to mining pools. Based in Ekibastuz, near the Russian border, the facility can host up to 50,000 mining rigs.
Assuming full capacity with Bitmain’s AntMiner S19 series or MicroBT’s WhatsMiner M30, that would represent mining power of about 5-6 EH/s—approximately 4% of bitcoin’s current hashrate.
With electricity in Kazakhstan being cheap, the country is set to become a global center for mining facilities, unlike China, where electricity prices change depending on the season. Costs at the Ekibastuz facility will stay much the same year-round.
Keen to attract business and foreign investment, the government has created a taxation framework to help further legitimize cryptocurrency mining in the country.
Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Mining Map shows Kazakhstan now ranks fourth in the world for hashrate distribution—up from sixth in Q3 2019.
Enegix already operates two mining facilities but the Ekibastuz site is its largest—it will employ upwards of 160 people, including engineers, electricians and security personnel.
The facility would handle as much electricity as needed to power 180,000 U.S. homes.
Construction on the facility began in August 2019 and has reportedly cost $23 million. The center will get its electricity straight from the Kazakhstani grid, which itself will source the power from a local coal-fired station. Ivanov said it was the cheapest source of power available.