Is this the world’s coldest job interview?

SB picture
4 February 2020

Five construction companies, shortlisted to build the new Scott Base, are heading to Antarctica.

But this is no polar jolly, the aim of the trip is to give them first-hand experience of Scott Base and the challenges of the Antarctic environment.

Two representatives from each company are flying South this week. They are:

  • Armitage Williams Construction Limited
  • Canstruct Pty Ltd
  • Hawkins 2017 Limited
  • Leighs Construction Limited
  • Naylor Love Canterbury Ltd

Antarctica New Zealand Senior Project Manager Simon Shelton says the reality is very few people have been to Antarctica.

“It is an opportunity for the construction companies to understand the challenges and commercial risk, and the unique logistical requirements involved in safely living, working and building in Antarctica,” he says.

While in Antarctica, the contractors will become familiar with the existing Scott Base and key support infrastructure, visit a number of important long-term research sites, and will be shown the construction area.

They will also experience Antarctic Field Training which will demonstrate what it is like to be outside in the Antarctic environment for a continual period of time, the challenges that presents and how to keep safe outdoors in Antarctica.

“This is the largest project ever undertaken by Antarctica New Zealand, and a complicated build in one of the coldest, driest windiest place on Earth, so we are committed to finding the right company to join our team.

“Following the visit to Scott Base, each company will prepare a detailed report outlining how they could build the new base. We want to ensure buildability, assurance of asset maintainability and that the final design provides a balance of innovation and value for money,” Mr Shelton says.

A preferred contractor will be identified by March 2021.

Scott Base Redevelopment project

Over the next 18 months the $18.5 million committed in Budget 2019 will be used to complete the detailed design of the new Scott Base. Employing a main contractor is part of this phase.

The main contractor will work with Antarctica New Zealand and the design team on how best to deliver the project.

The project would see the existing base, built in the early 80s and made up of 12 separate buildings, replaced by three large interconnected buildings and a separate helicopter hangar.


For more information please contact

Antarctica New Zealand Communications Advisor

Georgia Nelson

021 530 769