Brazil to Take Two Years to Rebuild Antarctic Base

By Dialogo
March 02, 2012

Brazil will take up to two years to rebuild its scientific Military base in Antarctica, destroyed on February 25 by a fire that left two dead, and is evaluating the possibility of forming partnerships with other countries to continue its research in the meantime, an official source said on February 29.

“Rebuilding a new base is obviously going to take one to two years,” Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Marco Antonio Raupp told the broadcaster O Globo.

Established in 1984, the base conducted scientific research on climate change and coastal and marine ecosystems. About 70 percent of the complex was destroyed as a consequence of a fire over the weekend, in which two Military personnel died and another was injured.

Until rebuilding is completed, the Brazilian government is evaluating entering into alliances with other countries in order to provide continuity to the research that was being conducted at the site through the Brazilian Antarctic Program, which began 30 years ago.

We can “explore possibilities for partnerships with other countries that conduct research there, that also have bases there,” Raupp stated.

The fire that consumed a good part of the facilities of Comandante Ferraz Base began in the area that housed the electric generators, for reasons that have not yet been determined.

Only the isolated emergency modules, the meteorology and chemistry laboratories, the laboratory for the study of the upper atmosphere, the fuel tanks, and the heliport were saved from the flames, according to the official account.

Antarctica, the majority of which is covered with snow and ice, holds vast mineral resources underneath its continental crust, and the surrounding seas teem with biological resources.

Around 30 countries operate stations in the region, year-round or during the summer.

I wonder how can we promote the participation of every country that uses the island in the reconstruction of the military base, since it is useful for every inhabitant in the planet due to the scientific studies that are carried out, for the protection of our land? We’re grateful for the international solidarity our country received because of this unfortunate accident. Hurt by the loss of our brave seamen that fought and gave their lives so other could survive e have minimized the losses of valuable technical and scientific material, facilities and vehicles. Everything encourages us to start to rebuild our little place in the Antarctic Continent. “There will always be something to do”, is one of our Navy’s mottos. Ney de Araripe Sucupira - Director of Society of Navy’s Friends – São Paulo – 8th Naval District – Brazil