Bam, Rambøll and Sweco begin six-month work programme at Antarctic research hub

Image courtesy of Bam
A team of companies has been chosen to carry out a six-month construction project at the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS’) Rothera Research Station.

Danish engineer Rambøll, Swedish consultant Sweco and Bam Nuttall, the UK civil engineering arm of Dutch contractor Royal Bam Group, will make the base’s 4,500 sq m science and operations building weather-resistant.

They will also restore the airstrips runway it to its original length, improve its surface and drainage, and install energy-efficient lighting.

Bam has already begun to clear several hundred thousand tonnes of snow that accumulated at the site over the winter.

The remaining construction team arrives later this month following a three-and-a-half-week journey on board the RRS Sir David Attenborough, which will dock at a £40m wharf constructed at the site in April 2020.

Last season’s work season included the completion of the external skeleton of the Discovery Building, foundations for which were laid in January.

The tasks are part of the UK government’s Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP) to improve its polar research facilities.

Bam won an initial $127m contract with the BAS in 2017.

David Seaton, BAS’ head of construction, said: “The pre-deployment training and all other preparation have gone extremely well, the team is motivated and up for the challenge and we look forward to a successful season by the end of which we will have a fully weathertight Discovery Building, keeping us on track for the handover of this wonderful new Science and Operations support asset in 2025, and also have delivered much of the upgraded runway resurfacing and lighting project, putting us in an excellent position to take delivery of our new aircraft in the near future.”

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