Kainuu – Nordic Supercomputing Hotbed
Kainuu’s most significant growth industry is the data centre ecosystem, centered on the Renforsin Ranta Business Park, formerly a UPM paper mill until its closure in 2008.
Kajaani’s first anchor case was the Finnish government’s CSC – IT Centre for Science, who have built a high technology, low carbon footprint data centre to house its two supercomputers. Followed by, Herman IT (colocation and capacity service provider) who operate a highperformance and cost-effective modular data centre. Both data centres have followed Google’s Hamina example by reusing existing brownfield infrastructure for their needs.
HPC becomes the specialisation of the data centre industry in Kainuu
In june 2019 EuroHPC JU decided to place one of the pre-exascale supercomputers (LUMI) to CSC’s data centre in Kajaani. The agreement seals the collaboration of the LUMI (large united modern infrastructure) consortium. The participating countries include Finland, Belgium, Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Norway, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland. LUMI will start its operations in the beginning of 2021.
Continuous development of Data Centre Business
UPM continues to invest in the refurbishment of key brownfield spaces, ready for further data centre companies, and are working with Invest in Kainuu to secure new tenants for their brownfield and greenfield spaces. What sets this site apart from alternative data centre sites in the Nordics is its absolute readiness for business in terms of brownfield space, pre-zoned greenfield land and “green” power. Availability lead times are as low as three months.
Multiple hydro electric and biomass power stations provide a significant supply of environmentally and economically attractive power (120MW on site renewable & 400MW diverse grid connectivity), which is suitable for heavy industrial use and data centres. While the vast majority of data in Finland and the rest of Scandinavia travels through the Helsinki & Espoo exchanges into Russia, there is a diverse route directly between Kajaani and neighbouring Russia. Kajaani, is also ideally placed to take advantage of the Finland-Germany underwater fiber connection and linking to the ROTACS Russian National Fiber Optic Ring that is under development, will further decrease the latency and turn the site into a real hub of global data flows with more than enough capacity.
Global infrastructure today has not been purpose built to support the growth in IT services. The future lies in something more fundamental to the data centre and the application ecosystem itself: automatically transforming today’s hardware-centric data centres into software-driven environments where applications and service delivery can be seen, measured and controlled based on workload. The region of Kainuu has played a significant part in the growth of this sector in Finland.
Kainuu region has invested heavily in the development of the data centre industry ecosystem through its educational organizations and the Renforsin Ranta business park. The Kajaani ecosystem is attracting both global and national players from a variety of sectors.
The decision by CSC to relocate the now redundant BULL hybrid system into Kajaani university of applied sciences provides unique educational resource for teaching and studying purposes. CSC cooperates closely with universities and supports their activities. During the spring semester of 2017, KAMK’s datacenter was connected to the national university and research network Funet, which is maintained by CSC. In addition, CSC and KAMK have together organized data analytics and artificial intelligence training in the form of Hackathon events, among others. CSC is also offering specialist and platform services through Herman IT’s AI Academy, which focuses on artificial intelligence.
Opportunities – Renforsin Ranta Business Park
Renforsin Ranta is a business park that was founded by UPM in 2008 on the site of its former paper mill. The existing diversified infrastructure makes Renforsin Ranta an attractive option for new companies seeking to grow. The business park houses 25 companies that employ more than 500 employees. Also, within the next few years Renforsin Ranta business park is expected to be home to about 900 jobs (Kainuun sanomat, on 9.2.2013). One of the strategic growth areas of Renforsin Ranta is measurement and information technology.
Location and Owner
- Address: Tehdaskatu 15, 87100 Kajaani, Finland
- Coordinates: 64.2310517, 27.7040800
- Owned by UPM (www.upm.com)
Site and building quota
- Site area is 120 hectares, expandable up to 320 hectares, the buildable area is 200,000 m²
- Nearest highway: 1 km
- Nearest community center: 1 km
- Major international airport: Kajaani airport 10 kilometers, 1 hour to Helsinki by plain
- Train connections: there is a private railhead in the business park area which is connected to national railroad network
Planning and permitting
- Zoned and shovel-ready
- Pending pumping license for river water is 4.5 m³/sec
- Available load to the site is 900 MW. Main transformer capacity is 230 MW (5 transformers)
- Line voltage 110 kVNearest 110 kV connection point inside business park area
- Available renewable green energy sources: Kainuun Voima bioboiler inside business park area (88 MW), three (3) hydro power plants (tot 30 MW) with direct connection to business park within 3 kilometers distance
- All major domestic operators are present at the business park (Kaisanet Oy, TeliaSonera, Elisa Oy, TDC Oy, FNE, PPO, FUNet)
- Dark fibre availability: yes
- Nearest national (Ficix) fiber hub: Oulu (180 kilometers)
Water & cooling options
Climate: dry continental, average temperature +1 °C, number of days over 25 °C: zero. Prevailing wind direction: south westFresh water and sewerage to the site: yesNatural gas option: NoWater cooling options: There is a pumping house in the area with pumping capacity of 3 m³/sec and two independent water lines to business park area
Ready heavy-duty industrial infrastructure, extremely good track record in electricity supply reliability, existing datacenter customers (Herman IT & IBM, CSC – Computer center for Science), single provider for infrastructure, supplies, leasing and agreements. Local University of Applied Sciences has a dedicated training program for datacenter specialists. Also in Kajaani there is a local datacenter cluster
No major hazards