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Precast Delivered to the Antarctic and Artic

Shay Murtagh has always been international in its outlook, but a recent project extended the company’s work as far as Antarctica.

Scientific research in the Antarctic is leading to new discoveries, not only on vital questions about climate change, but also on the ecological history of the world.  Much of this work is carried out from the British Antarctic Survey logistics centre at Rothera, where there are well-equipped laboratories, and teams of scientists and other experts work throughout the year both on land and under water. 

There is a great video giving details of the project at British Antarctic Survey.

The ship that is to play a vital part in new phases of logistics and research, the RRS (Royal Research Ship) Sir David Attenborough, the most modern polar research vessel in the world, capable of breaking ice up to a metre thick at three knots, will be accommodated at a new wharf at Rothera.  The ship that worked here previously, the RRS Ernest Shackleton, is smaller, and could dock at the original wharf; but the new ship is 129 metres long, and a new wharf is needed.

BAM Nuttall has worked in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey on the removal of the old structure and the design and construction of the new one, a project that will take two years to complete.  Work started in November 2018, and is scheduled to be finished this year. 

The skeleton of the new wharf consists of twenty thirty-tonne steel rigs, and the wharf was back-filled with rock before the final facings were put in place.  BAM Nuttall turned to Shay Murtagh Precast Concrete to manufacture and supply these units.  There is no margin for error when steel and concrete needs to be shipped 11,000 kilometres to the construction site, and Shay Murtagh Precast Concrete, with four decades of experience in the manufacture of precast and pre-stressed concrete for the most demanding of civil engineering projects, was the obvious choice.

In these conditions, all the materials need to be durable, sturdy, and capable of withstanding the most extreme weather on the planet.  Precast concrete is now the material of choice where strength and longevity head the list of requirements, and Shay Murtagh has once again been the supplier of choice where experience and expertise are vital.


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