Aiming for Zero Emission: Construction of PEA from Beginning to End

In the following extract, we how the Princess Elisabeth Station, the first 'zero-emission' research base on the Antarctic continent, was built. The video takes us through the various phases of the construction, which started in the austral summer of 2007-2008 and officially ended with the station's inauguration in February 2009.

Within the framework of the International Polar Year 2007-2009, the Belgian Federal Government commissioned the International Polar Foundation (IPF) which had been founded by Alain Hubert and professors André Berger (UCL) and Hugo Decleir (VUB) in 2002 to coordinate the design and construction of a research base in Antarctica, which required a lot of planning in advance. In this first extract we see how Alain Hubert carefully goes over the plans for the station and the scale model of it before the building team leaves for Antarctica.

Once they arrive in Antarctica, the containers are unloaded before being transported to the actual building site, some 200 km inland. At the same time, another team sets up the base camp for the volunteers participating in the expedition.

The construction of the base on a rocky ridge at Utsteinen was far from easy; it required a lot of careful planning and precision. Thanks to the hard work of countless engineers, experts and workmen during the short austral summer of 2007-2008, the external shell of the station was standing completed on the ridge after one season, sturdy enough to withstand the harsh winter. It was the collaboration between various industrial sectors and the government that made this challenging feat possible. Moreover, by bringing together international technological expertise, the Princess Elisabeth project has re-invigorated the quest to find new sources of renewable energy.

With the building of its "zero emission" station, Belgium has returned to Antarctica with an ambitious scientific research project and a clear message that we need to take action on climate change NOW.

The International Polar Foundation would like to thank T.A.G.E.O. for the video's soundtrack.

For more pictures, videos and information about the construction of the station, please visit the station's website at: Links to related documents, teaching dossiers and picture galleries can be found at the bottom this webpage.


All videos, quizzes, animations and photos are copyrighted to the IPF or to their authors. Please contact us before using them.

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