Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and driest place on Earth. We prioritise health and safety to work effectively in this extreme environment.
Aotearoa’s new Antarctic station will be built in New Zealand over three and a half years and transported across the Southern Ocean to Pram Point, Antarctica in 2027. The three buildings, connected by two link bridges, will be constructed at PrimePort Timaru. The new base will be tested and commissioned, then separated into eight modules and sealed for the journey south.
Work to prepare the site for the new base is underway in Antarctica. A new long-term science building has been installed to host experiments previously located inside and near the existing base. The area around the existing base is in the process of being cleared so earthworks can begin in the summer of 2023/24.
A comprehensive environmental monitoring programme is in place to ensure any impacts to the Antarctic environment are minimised throughout the construction of the new base.
Construction in New Zealand will begin in the middle of 2023, and the new base is expected to be up and running in Antarctica in 2028. At that time, the existing base will be deconstructed and returned to New Zealand, along with all waste, equipment and materials.
The new Scott Base will be shipped to Antarctica in 2027 on a BigLift Shipping heavy module carrier, specifically designed to operate in remote and inaccessible areas.
The eight building modules and two link bridges will be secured safely to the ice-strengthened MC-Class Vessel.
An ice breaker will cut a channel through the sea-ice to allow the ship access into McMurdo Sound.
Mammoet’s specialised modular transporters (SPMTs) will move the eight building modules and two link bridges on and off the vessel and into final position at Scott Base.
The existing base will be repurposed into an interim base for the construction period.
Additional accommodation, offices and operations facilities will be installed for a three to four-year period, allowing operations and the Antarctic research programme to continue alongside the rebuild.