RadioSvoboda.org reported that Kentucky based steel plant CC Metals & Alloys, owned by Ukrainian oligarch Mr Ihor Kolomoisky and his business partner Mr Hennadiy Bogolyubov, is mining cryptocurrencies in the premises of the now closed plant. The 70 year old steel plant closed its core operations in July and laid off workers. However, it is now mining cryptocurrencies to generate alternate revenue. CC Metals & Alloys’s move towards cryptocurrencies was signaled in July when the plant invited a third-party to install computer centers, thus diversifying its profits by jumping into artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. A worker of the steel plant said that an entire warehouse of the steel plant was converted into a data center with the installation of computers. Another employee confirmed that computers were brought there in trucks to set up the data center. The warehouse is estimated to have hundreds of computers that are mining digital currencies day and night.
Many believe that the factory may not open again as a metal producer due to legislative pressure from US authorities on the Ukrainian tycoons. Mr Ihor Kolomoyskiy, a Cypriot Ukrainian billionaire business oligarch and former governor of one of Ukraine’s provinces, and Mr Bogolyubov are facing a civil lawsuit in the US for funneling billions of dollars into the country after acquiring a falsified loan from Ukraine’s PrivatBank and laundering it through shell companies, before purchasing US assets like iron and steel plants and real estate.
Amherst New York based CC Metals and Alloys LLC, a major producer and supplier of specialty ferroalloys to the global iron & steel industry from facilities in Calvert City in Kentucky, was acquired by Optima Group LLC in 2011. Founded in the 1940s as Pittsburgh Metallurgical, CC Metals and Alloys began as a large volume commodity ferroalloy producer for the steel industry. In the 1980s, the company converted its product line to higher value added specialty ferrosilicons and magnesium ferrosilicon products. Now as CC Metals and Alloys, the company ships over 100,000 tonnes of products per year.
According to the announcement, certain owners of Optima Group are also partial owners of several other metals-based companies, including Felman Production Inc producer of ferrosiliconmanganese, Michigan Seamless Tube LLC, Warren Steel Holdings LLC for continuously cast rounds of carbon and alloy steel, Steel Rolling Holdings Inc for cold rolling and Felman Trading Inc a ferroalloys trading company