En+, one of the largest aluminium and power producers in the world, is venturing into crypto mining.
En+ decided to enter the crypto space after some experimentation in the field, the firm’s chief financial officer, Mikhail Khardikov, told CoinDesk via a spokesperson. Three years ago the company got mining firm BitRiver as a client, selling power to its farm in Bratsk.
BitRiver owns the largest mining venue in Russia, hosting about 100 megawatt worth of clients’ ASICs on a farm near the Bratsk hydropower plant in Siberia. The firm is also looking to expand to neighboring regions with the blessing of the local authorities. The partnership with En+ will add to the future growth.
The public company is a rare example of a large, mainstream industrial firm entering the crypto world. In this case, it seems like a natural fit: En+, owning four major hydropower plants in Russia’s Siberia, is producing about 7% of the country’s electricity and has resources to become one of the leading players in the market.
Industrial powerhouses like En+ entering the space might change the current power balance in the global crypto mining industry, where China’s domination is reportedly diminishing and countries like the U.S., Russia, Kazakhstan and Canada are trying to win larger shares of the market.
Now, En+ and BitRiver have partnered to run a new farm, with En+ holding a 80% stake and BitRiver 20% in the joint venture, they said. The venue, located not far from BitRiver’s existing site, will initially offer 10 megawatts of power for miners who would choose to keep their ASICs there, with the potential to expand to 40 megawatts.
“Our main business is combining the production of electricity and aluminium, which allows for turning electricity right into aluminium production, instead of selling it via the power grid [to consumers]. Data centers, especially for the mining…