Construction firm Bam Nuttall will help modernise British polar research facilities during a £100M partnership with research group British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
Projects will include the redevelopment of the BAS Rothera Research Station wharf on the Antarctic Peninsula, part of an upgrade ahead of polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough becoming operational in 2019.
The seven to 10 year partnership was commissioned by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and will see Bam Nuttall team up with European design consultants Sweco on project delivery. It is hoped the modernisation programme will help Britain remain at the forefront of climate, biodiversity and ocean research in the Polar regions.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract from NERC and very much look forward to partnering with the technical and operational teams at British Antarctic Survey,” said Bam Nuttall chief executive Stephen Fox.
“The opportunity to apply our skills and capability in remote environmentally sensitive gives our delivery team a unique and rewarding experience. This project will provide a great opportunity to showcase British innovation in digital design and manufacture. We are fully committed to developing our workforce and will look forward to involving our young engineers through apprenticeship and graduate programmes.”
Other Antarctic development projects will include modernising buildings and facilities at BAS stations in Signy (South Orkney Islands), Bird Island (South Georgia) and King Edward Point (South Georgia).
Most construction work will need to be completed during the four month window of the Antarctic summer, and construction workers will live and work alongside science teams in harsh and remote environments, sometimes in sub-zero temperatures.