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Wed October 21 2020

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Team arrives in Antarctica for second construction season

20 Dec 19 A team of more than 40 people has arrived on site in Antarctica to start its second summer season preparing Rothera Research Station to moor the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Photo by BAM
Photo by BAM

Construction work on a new 74-metre long wharf resumes, and initial groundworks for a new science and operations building begins. The works are designed to improve operational efficiency and ensure that the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Rothera Research Station is equipped for the future.  

Around 80% of the construction team – BAM, the BAS project team and technical advisor Ramboll – are returners from the previous season. Sweco is BAM’s designer for the project.

This season the remaining 14 of the 20 steel frames that form the wharf’s skeleton will be put in place and backfilled with rock, completing the wharf.

Photo by BAM
Photo by BAM

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Wharf enhancements include a crane for easier launching of small science boats, a personnel gangway and a floating pontoon for the deployment of scientific instruments.

A key feature of the modernisation programme is to reduce fossil fuel consumption at the station and to introduce more energy-efficient systems including heat recovery generators, photovoltaic solar panels and enhanced insulation. 

Martha McGowan, project manager at BAM, said: “Having been to the naming ceremony for the RRS Sir David Attenborough earlier this year, it helped put our second build season into perspective. It will be a busy season but we recognise the importance of our projects in helping BAS continue to deliver frontier science.”

BAS senior infrastructure programme manager David Seaton said: “After many months of planning we are looking forward to achieving two key milestones at Rothera. These two projects; the wharf and modernisation are critical to reducing operating costs, improving efficiency and keep the research stations meeting the needs of BAS personnel to facilitate world-leading research for the future.”

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