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Estonia: EUR 10 mln computing center being developed at Enefit Tehnoloogiapark

BC, Tallinn, 08.07.2019.Print version
Burfa Tech, an IT company operating in Estonia mainly in the field of equipment for cryptocurrency mining, is set to develop Northern Europe's largest high-performance computing center at Enefit Technology Park in the northeastern border city of Narva, reported LETA/BNS.

The facility with a capacity of four megawatts that cost 10 mln euros to build is currently undergoing equipment tests and is scheduled to become operational in the coming months, the company announced on Monday.


Vitali Pavlov, chief product officer at Burfa Tech, described the operation of a computing center as a new line of business for the company that is aimed at providing various cloud services on the global marketplace. The computing center will provide customers with cloud computing, graphical rendering, artificial intelligence and machine learning services.


With an estimated average electricity consumption of 30 gigawatt-hours per year, Burfa's Narva facility will be a major electricity consumer in Estonia and one of the top 25 industrial electricity customers of Estonia. The computing center's electricity consumption will be in the same magnitude as the annual electricity consumption of the entire Polva town or the household electricity consumption of the town of Rakvere.


"We came up with the idea of setting up our own high-performance computing center back in 2017. In parallel, we studied project development opportunities in Iceland, the USA and Russia, as well as here in Estonia. During these preparations we started to communicate with Enefit Technology Park. Before breaking ground we prepared the project very carefully," Ivan Turogin, member of the board of Burfa Tech OU said.


"The location of our data center will naturally give us some competitive advantages -- firstly, the center is located in the guarded territory of the Balti Power Plant that guarantees high security, which is one of the basic requirements of our customers, and, secondly, we receive significant cost savings from the network fee," Turogin added.


According to Jaanus Rattur, member of the board of Enefit Energiatootmine, the Enefit Technology Park has been developed primarily for customers with high energy consumption in order to give companies located in the power plant's territory a significant competitive advantage by saving on network charges. At the same time, a major electricity consumer enables the power plant to plan its load more accurately, said Rattur.


While companies of Burfa Group have previously managed similar computing centers in China and Iceland as test projects, the company is currently planning to consolidate most of its capacities in Narva.


Describing Enefit as a very reliable partner, Turogin said that compared to Iceland, Narva offers a more attractive business climate and cooperation on the level of local authorities, with a competitive energy price.


For Burfa Tech, key customers of the new Narva data processing center will be medium-sized multinational companies. The company's all customers are from outside Estonia and most of the center's capacity is already covered by existing contracts.


Burfa Tech's data processing center in Narva deploys AI monitoring and remote control systems that, among others, monitor building temperature, humidity and fire safety. In addition, AI also monitors and controls electrical safety. To ensure the safety of the equipment, modern gas extinguishing and smoke extraction systems have been installed in the key premises of the computing center. The company funded the development project from own funds, and the payback period is about three years depending on market conditions.


Burfa Tech OU provides cloud and IT development services by deploying blockchain technologies. In addition, the company is building data processing and storage centers, involving leading staff of Estonian research institutions. 


The parent company of Burfa Tech, Burfa Capital OU, belongs to Ivan Turogin and Sergei Potapenko who are also members of the board of Burfa Tech. Burfa Tech formerly operated under the name of Hashcoins, but the company's name was changed this year as part of a rebranding launched by the holding group in connection with the expansion of business areas from the cryptocurrency mining and the development and sale of related technical solutions and services.


At present Burfa Tech employs 33 people and the volume of the company's assets is 16.4 mln euros. Its revenue in 2018 amounted to 17.8 mln euros and net profit to 10.6 mln euros.

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