28 April, 2016 Press releases

An opportunity to partner with British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to deliver a construction programme to modernise UK Antarctic and other research facilities is announced this week (27 April) in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Construction companies with a strong track record of high-quality engineering and technology expertise are invited to submit expressions of interest in a 10 year modernisation programme that is associated with the UK Government’s recent £200+ million investment in Antarctic and Arctic science infrastructure.  Potential bidders are invited to a Construction Partner Open Forum Industry day to be held in June 2016.

Commissioned by NERC, this modernisation programme will deliver a world-leading national capability, will offer new research opportunities for the UK science community, and ensure that Britain remains at the forefront of climate, biodiversity and ocean research in the Polar Regions.

BAS Director of Operations Captain Tim Stockings said,

“This is an exciting time for polar science.  Initial construction works include the alteration and extension of the wharf and slipway at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula in preparation for the arrival in 2019-20 of Britain’s new polar research ship. This new state-of-the-art research ship – commissioned by NERC, built by Cammell Laird and operated by British Antarctic Survey – will transform BAS operational delivery of UK polar science.

“Antarctic Research Station modernisation plans will be rolled out from 2016-17.  The goal is to improve overall operational effectiveness and enhance science capability, sustainability, energy efficiency; as well as improving the standards of living for world-leading scientific research and support teams.”

Unloading cargo from the James Clark Ross at Rothera wharf.
Redevelopment of the wharf at Rothera Research Station is just one of the projects which forms part of the construction programme

The Construction Partner Open Forum Industry day will be followed by a competitive tendering process to select a construction partner that can work very closely with BAS and their Technical Advisors (Ramboll) over an extended period of time to proactively manage and jointly share the challenges and risks associated with construction in Antarctica.

Successful partners will be expected to have the overall capability to deliver effective construction programmes that combine civil engineering, buildings and related mechanical engineering in various regions of the world where BAS and NERC have a scientific research interest, including in the UK and in very challenging environments overseas. NERC overall construction requirements will arise from the on-going review of its whole Estate.


Issued by British Antarctic Survey Press Office:

Athena Dinar, Tel: +44 (0)1223 221 441; mobile: 07909 008516 email: amdi@bas.ac.uk

Paul Seagrove, Tel: +44 (0) 1223 221414; mobile: 07736 921693 email: psea@bas.ac.uk


Notes for editors:

Video and photos of existing Antarctic Research Stations available on request from the BAS Press Office as above.

The Prior Information Notice can be accessed here: http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:145308-2016:TEXT:EN:HTML

The Construction Partner Open Forum Industry Day is taking place at The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, 1 Victoria Street, London at 9.30 – 12.30pm on Monday 6 June. Register attendance here: https://www.bas.ac.uk/event/construction-partner-open-forum-industry-day/

For more information contact: tenders@bas.ac.uk

In April 2014 the Chancellor announced that the Government would invest £200+ million in a new polar research ship and supporting infrastructure to put UK scientists at the forefront of climate and ocean research in both Antarctica and the Arctic. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) proposed the design and build of the new polar research vessel which will deliver world-leading capability for UK research in both Antarctica and the Arctic.