What does TikTok have to produce ammunition for Ukraine?

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Military_Material/PixabayNorwegian Nammo, one of the largest European defense companies specializing in the production of ammunition, warns that it will not be able to fulfill orders received from many NATO countries for Ukraine, because the data center of the Chinese social network TikTok consumes the energy that Nammo needs.

Either ammo or cat videos

The case came to light a few days ago, when company president Morten Brandtzæg revealed to the Financial Times that the issue of the efficient supply of ammunition to Ukraine is at risk because of TikTok. Nammo, which is jointly owned by the Norwegian government and a Finnish state-controlled defense company, cannot expand its Raufoss factory in central Norway because TikTok’s local data center consumes all the energy in the region. “We are concerned because we see that our future growth is being challenged by the storage of cat videos,” commented Morten Brandtzæg. Due to Putin’s invasion, the demand for ammunition has skyrocketed. According to Nammo, Ukraine currently uses around 6,000 rounds a day – the equivalent of a yearly order for a small European country – and plans to increase its daily round consumption to 65,000.

The struggle for access to energy

Experts say the battles over which companies and industries will be given priority access to electricity grids are likely to intensify across Europe. Data centers have flourished in the Nordic countries due to once abundant and cheap electricity there, as well as a cooler climate that keeps cooling costs low. Meanwhile, the energy transition is also driving battery and steel companies to relocate to the Nordic countries, causing struggle for access to electricity. Northern Sweden has also been struggling with similar problems for some time, where the dilemma “steel or data centers for Facebook?” warms up society. According to Brandtzæg, EU leaders must quickly decide which industries can receive special access to energy. This issue is of particular importance to European industry. Per-Gunnar Sveen, head of the business development committee at Innlandet County Council, where Nammo is based, said: “In this particular case, we will be working to secure the supplies that Nammo needs to move forward with plans to expand the factory. It is in the national interest to secure their development opportunities.”

Growing hostility towards TikTok

The problems faced by companies like Nammo are compounded by the growing hostility of the European institutions towards the social network of Chinese origin. The Commission and the European Parliament have already banned TikTok from their computers, fearing it will become a gateway for Chinese authorities to spy on. Interestingly, one of the ways TikTok decided to fend off the espionage allegations was to set up its data centers on the European continent to ensure that user data does not leave EU jurisdiction. This month, Norwegian company Green Mountain signed an agreement with TikTok to to support its growing data storage needs in Europe, starting with a 150 megawatt center. The first phase of the project is to be launched in November this year. TikTok chose the Hamar region in central Norway because there was theoretically a surplus of renewable energy there. This surplus was also counted on by Nammo, which planned not only to expand its factories in the region, but also to increase the current production in order to urgently supply Ukrainian artillery with ammunition. it was produced in the EU or in Norway.
At the moment, TikTok crosses EU plans.

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