Base Petrel  (WAP ARG-17) Argentina builds  its most modern Antarctic Base

Petrel Base opened in 1967 but has been used as a temporary summer base since 1976, after a fire destroyed its main accommodation building. Petrel Base (WAP ARG-17) is one of the Argentine research stations located  on the Antarctic Peninsula. Established as a permanent research station in 1967, it has been a temporary base since 1978, housing scientists only part of the year. Petrel Base is found on Dundee island, among Graham Land’s Joinville island group.

The project that involve the build of a totally renewed structure on Petrel Base was conceived by the Tandanor shipyard,  a building with several modules, with a total of 800 square meters covered, and weighing 300 tons, The material arrived at the Petrel Base aboard the Icebreaker Almirante Irízar  last February 2024.

A team of engineers from the Argentine Army was deployed this summer to Antarctica to assemble the new habitable house of Petrel Base, a set of thousands of pieces, bolts, nuts and washers of 300 tons of steel , which was designed and built by the Tandanor state shipyard to tolerate the climatic challenges of the white continent.
The project is a multi-module building of which the foundations were installed during last year’s Antarctic campaign, while this year progress is being made on the first habitable structures.

José Luis Oca, the naval and mechanical engineer, head of the infrastructure sector of the Infrastructure and Construction Directorate of Tandanor did sail to Petrel Base, to coordinate the first stage of construction last January.

Oca said that, what they are developing in Petrel is the habitable house that will be occupied by the scientists and the personnel who provide service in each campaign- Iit’s a structure of six modules of which the foundations were placed and, this summer, the first is planned to be built: a construction of 800 square meters covered.

The New Petrel structure took into account all the technological innovations of recent decades and all the scientific knowledge about the climatic and geographical conditions of Antarctica that was produced at this time. We also studied the projects of Countries that built Antarctic bases in recent years.

The head of the Joint Antarctic Command, Brigadier General Edgar Calandín, told Télam that the tasks of supporting science and technological developments carried out in our bases and in collaboration with Antarctic programs of other Countries are an exercise of sovereignty; The progress in the recovery of  Base Petrel materializes a new gateway to the Argentine Antarctic Sector, which is much more than a logistics point because, in addition to being able to operate with planes and ships, it will have the most modern infrastructure to function at the same time.

“We are also building new physical foundations for the presence in Antarctica, while the construction of the new buildings at the Petrel Base progresses, an initiative to develop the new infrastructure of Carlini  (WAP ARG-2Ø) and Brown (WAP ARG-Ø2) Bases  “University’ in Antarctica” through agreements so that the young people who winter at the Esperanza Base (WAP ARG-Ø4) can study there, taking some content in person and others remotely, and that this mechanism of study can also be used by the crews of other bases in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula,” he highlighted.

Today Argentina is redesigning its Antarctic policy and that will materialize shortly with a new Antarctic policy directive, which has research, development and evolution as its center of gravity, this will allow us to finalize a new master plan of evolution with a search for cooperative integration of all state agencies as an expression of sovereigntyconcluded Calandín.

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