The first construction phase of a new wharf at the Rothera British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research centre has been completed.
The final BAM construction team members have boarded the RRS James Clark Ross to make their way home following six-months of construction work, which was supported by BAS’s Technical Advisors, Ramboll.
During the season the team dismantled the existing wharf to make way for the new skeleton structure, with six of the 20 steel frames successfully installed.
Towards the end of the season the teams installed steel piles and backfilled with rock to protect the new sections of the wharf from icebergs during the harsh Antarctic winter. All the plant and equipment have now been ‘winterised’ ready for phase two of the construction later this year.
Once complete, the new 74m long wharf will be larger and deeper than the previous one to accommodate the new polar research vessel, the RRS Sir David Attenborough that will come into operation in 2020.
The new wharf will also improve experiences for research and operational personnel working at Rothera. A new crane and enhanced cargo handling facilities will make it easier and quicker to load and unload cargo, whilst enhancing facilities for deploying small boats and gliders used for scientific purposes more efficiently.
Graham Hopper, BAM’s project director said, “The works have been delivered on programme and to budget, with an excellent safety and environmental performance.
“This success has been facilitated by the innovative method of delivery that has enabled the early engagement of all partners, the building of relationships and collaborative behaviours, that have mobilised benefits in budget, programme and risk to all partners.”