The Pryor Times

Local News

April 29, 2014

Exascale coming to MAIP

PRYOR, OK — The world's largest supercomputer could start up in Pryor.

“This is a one-of-a-kind event for MidAmerica Industrial Park,” said Ted Allison, CeCD, Director of Economic Development for MAIP. “Exascale Power first approached us about this two months ago. They needed a large parcel of land and an extremely large power supply, which we are able to accommodate.”

Allison said Exascale Power, and it’s CEO John Fitzpatrick, expressed interested in a 630-acre parcel in the park.

“After evaluating criteria, we entered into an agreement to sell them that property. They have to make an escrow deposit by Friday at the close of the business day,” said Allison, adding that the total cost of the property is $23,050,000, which breaks down to $36,587 per acre.

If this project goes forward, Allison said, it would be a huge turning point for the park.

“In addition to the revenue from selling the acreage, Exascale has stated their intention is to hire roughly 2,000 employees, half of which would be working in the park,” said Allison, adding that his understanding is that Fitzpatrick would hire these employees by the end of this year.

MAIP has explored temporary housing options for the employees that would be living in Pryor, as the current availability of housing is not sufficient.

“In addition, their starting need in regard to power is 580 megawatts, which they anticipate will quickly grow to 1,000 megawatts, which is unheard of. Special arrangements and agreements will be made with Grand River Dam Authority to supply that massive amount of power,” said Allison.

“I know it all seems almost too big and too good to be true,” said Allison. “But Intel has been working on research and development of exascale computers. If a company the likes of Intel is taking this seriously, that was an indicator to us that we should take this opportunity seriously as well.”

The emphasis of Exascale Power, Allison said, is to meet the need for real-time data transfer in global trade.

“GRDA is excited for this new Park resident's move into MAIP. We will be working with them to meet their future electricity needs here and we do look forward to this new relationship with the company,” said Justin Alberty, GRDA corporate communications director.

“We did a search nationwide and found that MAIP is the place to be. It’s really the only option,” said Fitzpatrick, who boasted on his website that Exascale Power signed an agreement with MAIP April 16 to bring Exascale Power to Pryor.

“Coming to market fully six years before any competitor and bringing 2,000 jobs to Oklahoma in the next six months,” according to Exascale Power's website.

MAIP is part of the answer to how Fitzpatrick can develop this company so far ahead of the competition.

“It's all about high-power consumption. The only way this is possible now is because of the power supply available to me from MAIP, particularly GRDA. Other labs are estimating this technology coming to fruition in 2017, 2018 or even 2020 all because they do not have access to the power supply to meet their consumption needs,” said Fitzpatrick. “We are willing to pay the extra cost to have it now.”

The cost, Fitzpatrick said, of fully starting Exascale Power in Pryor is $20 billion.

“Our power needs are just over 50 percent of GRDA’s current load, but it is possible,” said Fitzpatrick, adding that when the company reaches its full potential, it will be able to trade $250 billion monthly in global trade sectors because of the added security of real-time transfers.

According to Fitzpatrick, this is a paradigm shift in the way trading is done, as computer logs allow for lower risk, more transparency and instant internal audits.

The supercomputer is said to have the ability to run 10^18 operations per second, as opposed to home computers which can handle 10^10 operations per second. Researchers say this level of computing is thought to be the same power as a human brain at neural level.

After suffering a heart attack before his 45th birthday, Fitzpatrick said he felt a drive to focus his career aspirations, and to put them on the fast track.

“That's why this project is moving so quickly. And that’s why the secondary function of Exascale Power, after global trade, is medical research. I want it all to happen, and I want it today,” said Fitzpatrick.

He said the community can expect to see physical changes on the property as soon as escrow closes. That, Fitzpatrick said, will be immediately followed by the hiring of employees.

“We’re already taking applications. Given the scope of this facility, we are hiring positions from a broad spectrum, including ground keepers, maintenance and security,” said Fitzpatrick. “When it comes to security, things will be very tight as this will be the only center of it's kind in the world.

Thursday, Fitzpatrick submitted a letter to the chief executive oficer and chairman of Intel Corporation. The letter, Fitzpatrick said, “is a preliminary communication before a formal tender offer to exchange some shares of Exascale Power Co, for all of Intel Corporation shares of common stock.

Friday, Fitzpatrick said “Intel is considering the offer. OOWA/MAIP agreed to a 30 day extension on escrow.

“After we see what happens we'll either move forward with enthusiasm and excitement or we'll go back to life as it was before,” said Allison.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News