Brazil Starts Rebuilding Antarctic Base
By Dialogo September 19, 2012
Three Brazilian Navy ships will depart to Antarctica in October, with temporary facilities, as well as the material to start removing debris caused by the fire that reduced the Brazilian base to rubble in February, informed the Minister of Defense Celso Amorim.
“At the end of the winter next month, our ships will depart to begin working on removing the sections of the base that were affected by the fire,” stated Amorim in a meeting with Antarctica’s program managers from Latin America.
In order to house part of the Brazilian research team, the ships will transport temporary facilities that will be setup on the heliport at the Comandante Ferraz Brazilian Base on King George Island, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, according to the Ministry.
The rest of the researchers will be staying at the Argentine base, while some of them will be sent to the Chilean Base.
The Minister explained that the goal is to start building a new base a year later, in November 2013.
Amorim emphasized that the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is “strongly committed” to rebuilding the base and that she was thankful to the South American countries for their help after the fire in February, when Brazil lost the base.
Established in 1984, the Brazilian base was carrying out scientific research regarding climate change and coastal and maritime ecosystems. The fire destroyed 70% of the premises in February, when two members of the military personnel died and one was injured.
Mainly covered in ice and snow, Antarctica holds vast mineral resources under its soil, as well as important biological resources in its surrounding waters. About 30 countries operate stations in the area the year round or in the summer time.