The government of Kazakhstan is planning to build a nuclear power plant to fill an electricity gap allegedly caused by the booming crypto mining industry. Power issues are driving away miners who saw the Central Asian country as a new home when China recently cracked down on the industry.
Nuclear power plant project relaunched amid power shortage for Kazakhstan’s crypto mining sector
Kazakh authorities are now planning to implement a ten-year-old plan to build a nuclear power plant (NPP) to solve the country’s urgent problems with a growing electricity deficit. With tariffs capped and a pro-crypto attitude, the former Soviet republic has attracted a host of Chinese miners driven out by Beijing’s offensive against the crypto industry launched in May this year. However, some of them are now leaving the country because their equipment is idling.
Two sites are currently under consideration as potential sites for a nuclear power plant, Kazakh Energy Minister Magzum Mirzagaliev revealed this week. These are the village of Ulken in the Alma-Ata region and the city of Kurchatov in the region of East Kazakhstan. Quoted by the Russian news agency Tass, Mirzagaliev said:
We are ready with the production and consumption balance until 2035. We clearly see the need to build a nuclear power plant in order to provide electricity to our people and our economy.
Kazakhstan is a world leader in uranium ore mining and has been planning to build a nuclear power plant for more than a decade. It will take another 10 years to build it, admitted Mirzagaliev. Nur-Sultan’s government is currently in talks with Russia’s state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, which has built nuclear power plants in China, India and Belarus. The nuclear power plant will also help Kazakhstan meet its carbon neutrality goals by 2060, the official noted.
The country started experiencing power shortages last summer, when the influx of Chinese miners caused an electricity supply deficit of 7% in the first three quarters of the year. Power-hungry data centers were quickly blamed for the shortages, and authorities estimated that a single crypto farm needs as much power as 24,000 homes. The deficit has forced Kazakhstan, a major producer of fossil fuels, to buy expensive electricity from Russia to fill the void.
Kazakhstan has maintained a generally positive attitude towards the crypto industry. He welcomed the miners and took steps to regulate the sector. Recently released estimates suggest that cryptocurrency mining may inject some $ 1.5 billion into its economy over the next five years, with over $ 300 million expected in tax revenue. A charge of $ 0.0023 per kilowatt hour of electricity used by registered mining companies will be levied in January.
Do you think a nuclear power plant will solve Kazakhstan’s power supply problems and provide enough electric power for its crypto mining industry? Tell us in the comments section below.
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