Scott Base Redevelopment Build

The countdown is on to the start of the $344 million Scott Base Redevelopment Build in Timaru! Work is now expected to begin in May-June 2023 at PrimePort Timaru.

Venture Timaru is thrilled to be welcoming the teams from Antarctica NZ and Leighs Construction to our district.

Antarctic voyage to echo history

The specialist ship that will deliver the new Scott Base research station to Antarctica has been booked for January 2027 – exactly 70 years after the original base opened in 1957.

Antarctica New Zealand and Leighs Construction are joining forces with global logistics companies BigLift Shipping and Mammoet to transport Aotearoa’s new home 3720km across the Southern Ocean to the ice.

Antarctica New Zealand Project Director for the Scott Base Redevelopment Jon Ager says the new base will safeguard New Zealand’s world-leading scientific research programme and presence in Antarctica for another +50 years.

State-of-the-art heavy module carrier

BigLift Shipping will sail the prefabricated base from PrimePort Timaru, New Zealand to Pram Point, Ross Island on the back of an MC-Class vessel, an ice-strengthened heavy module carrier, specifically designed to operate in remote and inaccessible areas, like Antarctica.

The 20,675mt,173m vessel will bypass the usual offload point at the United States’ McMurdo Station and sail directly to Pram Point, where Scott Base is situated – it’s the first time that a ship of this size will moor at Aotearoa’s only Antarctic station.

Mammoet’s self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) will move the new base onto the ship in Timaru and off again in Antarctica. The three interconnected buildings will be separated into eight modules (each about 800 metric tonnes), sealed, and welded onto the vessel for the journey.


Key Project Information

The new Scott Base will be constructed at PrimePort Timaru, then separated into eight modules before they are shipped to Pram Point, Antarctica.

Construction in New Zealand allows for a year-round build – Antarctica is in darkness for half of the year. It also means the team can test and commission the buildings and make sure everything is working before they head south.

The new base will eventually be situated on the same location as the current base at Pram Point, Antarctica, allowing continued support of New Zealand’s world-leading Antarctic science.

The existing base will be deconstructed and shipped back to New Zealand along with all waste and materials at the completion of the project.

Antarctica New Zealand received $344 million in Budget 2021 to rebuild Scott Base and upgrade its wind farm, which will ensure the new base is powered by up to 97% of renewable energy.

Antarctica fast facts

  • Antarctica is the 5th largest continent.
  • It has a land area of 14 million km² (280,000 km² ice-free, 13.72 million km² ice-covered).
  • It is almost twice the size of Australia (7,617,930 km²).
  • In summer, it can be about 50% the size of the US.
  • In winter, it can grow up to 2 times that size.
  • The Dry Valleys in Antarctica are the driest places on earth.
  • Antarctica is, on average, the windiest place on earth.
  • The continent contains 70% of the world’s freshwater.
  • There are more than 9,000 known animal species in Antarctica, including 46 species of bird, 10 cetaceans (including killer whales and humpback whales), 6 species of seal and 7 Antarctic penguin species.
  • At its deepest, Antarctica’s ice is 4.5km (2.7 miles) thick.
  • Seven nations from around the globe lay claim to different parts of the continent and are part of the  Antarctic Treaty signed 1959:
    • New Zealand, Australia, France, Norway, United Kingdom, Chile and Argentina
  • There are currently 70 permanent scientific research stations found across the continent of Antarctica. They represent 29 countries from all 7 continents.

Local Antarctic connections


Geraldine Cheese Company

Geraldine Cheese Company have brought their name and logo full circle, paying homage to the very first iteration from 1884.

There is a wheel of the original Geraldine Cheese Company's cheese in Captain Robert Falcon Scott's 1910-1912 Terra Nova Expedition Hut in Cape Evans, Antarctica, with the same logo they are using today!


Mount Nimrod

In 1907, Ernest Shackelton and his crew  were en route to Antarctica as part of the 'Nimrod' expedition, aboard the Nimrod vessel. As part of their training for their goal of ascending Antarctica's Mount Erebus, Shackelton and team climbed a mighty peak in the Hunter Hills.

As they were the first group to make it to the top, the peak was named Mount Nimrod, for the boat carrying the crew on their expedition! When they arrived at the summit of Mount Erebus, they erected Nimrod Hut - now preserved by the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Furthering the connection in the Hunter Hills, Stravon's Headquarters Hut raises a glass to the heroes that conquered Erebus on the Nimrod expedition, at their in-house bar aptly named 'Shackelton's', where you can experience the heritage for yourself.

We'd love to hear about more local connections to Antarctica & Scott Base!

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