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Bam sets off to construct Antarctic wharf

Bam has set off with a ship loaded with 4,500t of equipment to build a new wharf at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica.

The team, which includes employees from Bam Ritchies, will be responsible for the new bigger wharf, which will be built in two stages over two Antarctic seasons for the new polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Bam oversaw the loading of plant, 83 containers, permanent and temporary materials and 1,000t of steelwork onto the DS Wisconsin at Teesport in North Yorkshire.

The Bam team will be removing the existing wharf, ready for the rear section of the new wharf to be constructed in the first season, then the front section attached during the second season.


This animation shows how the new wharf at Rothera will be constructed over the next two seasons.

BAM engineer and project manager Martha McGowan said: ‘Having spent months designing and procuring every single piece of equipment we need to build this wharf, it has finally all come together.

“We spent 10 days working with Transglobal, DS Multibulk and AV Dawson, and all of the cargo specialists said this was a one off for them in terms of the complexity of the cargo for stowage, how much was being shipped at once and the detailed bio-security checks. Now we are looking forward to being able to unload in Rothera and begin work deconstructing the old wharf, then building the new one.’

British Antarctic Survey progamme manager David Seaton said: ‘This is a milestone in BAS’s Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme, and a major step forwards in our work to ensure the continued delivery of cutting edge UK polar science into the future.’

Bam was chosen to partner with BAS to modernise UK Antarctic and other research facilities back in January 2017. The wharf is the first project to be undertaken in a contract worth an estimated €120M (£100M).

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