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Antarctic mission for Hanson packed products

Antarctic project photo by Pete Bucktrout, British Antarctic Survey

Hanson supply 125 tonnes of bagged cement for modernization of Rothera Wharf in Antarctica

BAGGED cement from Hanson’s Ketton cement works has been shipped more than 9,600 miles for use in the upgrade of Rothera Wharf in Antarctica.

The work is part of a long-term programme to modernize infrastructure at the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station to ensure its facilities continue to allow world-leading research.

Together with the commissioning of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world which is due to come into service later this year, the first phase of the modernization work is to remove the old wharf at Rothera Point and replace it with a new one.

The work is being carried out by construction partners BAM Nuttall over two Antarctic summers (November to February) when temperatures generally range between 0°C and 5°C and there is 24 hours of daylight.

The wharf upgrade will improve ship and boating operations and allow it to accommodate the RRS Sir David Attenborough as well as reduce manual handling cargo loading/unloading times.

Hanson worked with supply chain partners BAM Nuttall and civils specialists Keyline over a 14-month period of testing to perfect the technical specification of the cement, which needs to withstand the rigors of one of the harshest climates on Earth.

Once the formulation was agreed, Hanson had just three weeks to produce and bag 125 tonnes, to be shipped from Teessport docks.

Each of the 5,000 25kg bags had to be vacuum sealed and double shrink-wrapped on to heat-treated pallets to ensure Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem was not threatened by the transference of any harmful organisms or non-native species of plants or animals.

John Caffrey, bid estimating and support manager at Keyline, said: ‘Hanson are one of our key suppliers and we knew we could rely on them to deliver the product right first time, on time, to meet the scheduled departure of the cargo ship.

‘The project is a great example of partnership working, with ourselves, Hanson and BAM Nuttall collaborating to ensure this time-critical project was successful.’

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