New £51m wharfs will allow research ship RSS Sir David Attenborough to dock at British research stations

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has released two videos documenting how construction teams battled the elements to build a pair of new wharfs in Antarctica and South Georgia.

The wharfs, which together cost £51m, were built by main contractor Bam, technical advisor Ramboll and design consultant Sweco to allow the new research ship RSS Sir David Attenborough - which the public wanted to call Boaty McBoatface - to dock at BAS’ research stations.

Completed in spring this year, both wharfs were designed digitally in the UK before teams travelled to the sites to begin construction, which could only take place during the short Antarctic summer.

Teams in South Georgia were further limited by the local animal breeding season, cutting the window during which construction could be carried out by half.

The schemes are part of a 10-year modernisation programme for the BAS’ operations in the south Atlantic announced alongside a £100m funding commitment by the UK government in 2017.

It includes the £40m wharf at Rothera research station, the capital of the British Antarctic Territory, the £11m wharf at King Edward Point, the BAS’ facility on South Georgia Island, and a new 4,500m2 operations building at Rothera currently being built by the same team which built the two wharfs.

Earlier in August, government research group UK Research and Innovation launched a £500m construction framework for major building projects to support scientists working at BAS facilities in Antarctica and South Georgia.