A project to build two large-scale facilities for cryptocurrency mining is underway in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The high-tech data centers will rely on a full immersion solution to cool the power-hungry miners as the desert climate renders air-cooled mining infeasible, participants said.
Advanced Crypto Mining Facilities in Abu Dhabi to Defy Cooling Challenges in Arab Peninsula
Marathon Digital Holdings, a leading US-based crypto mining company, and emerging blockchain infrastructure developer Zero Two, are working to launch what they say will be the Middle East’s first immersion bitcoin mining operations.
The partners have formed a joint venture, Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), to develop and run two new sites for digital asset with a combined capacity of 250 megawatts (MW), Marathon announced in a press release providing information about the project.
The larger, 200 MW facility will be constructed in Masdar City, the sustainability hub of Abu Dhabi, the capital city of UAE. The other, 50MW crypto farm will be located in the port zone of Mina Zayed, the announcement detailed.
The sites will be powered with excess energy, thus increasing the base load and sustainability of Abu Dhabi’s power grid. The two companies emphasized their intention is to also offset any non-sustainably produced electricity used with clean energy certificates.
Construction of the crypto mining farms is already underway and the mining equipment has been ordered. Both sites, which will have a combined hashrate of approximately 7 EH/s, are expected to come online as early as this year.
Before starting the realization of the project, Marathon Digital and Zero Two launched a pilot program to establish the efficacy of a large crypto mining operation in Abu Dhabi, where the hot desert climate renders air-cooled mining infeasible.
The results initial of the pilot indicate that operating mining sites in the UAE is now feasible thanks to an immersion solution to cool the ASIC miners, custom-built by the two companies, and implementing proprietary software to optimize their performance.
The equity ownership in the ADGM joint venture will be 80% for Zero Two and 20% for Marathon, with capital contributions in 2023 expected to total around $406 million. The details about the mining project came after analysts recently predicted that increased regulatory pressures, energy costs, and taxes in current mining hotspots may result in a new migration of crypto miners to more favorable jurisdictions.
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