Brazilian Antarctic base will start to receive emergency modules this year
18/09/2012 14:30 - Portal Brasil
With the start of summer in the Antarctic continent, the Brazilian base will begin receiving emergency modules, providing continuity to the work of researchers in the region. Three Brazilian Navy ships and a vessel contracted for logistical support will set off next month for the icy continent in order to begin removing debris left over from the fire that destroyed the Comandante Ferraz Base in February of this year. The announcement was made by Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim. “Next month, with the end of winter on the continent, our ships will depart to begin work disassembling parts of the base affected by the fire. This work will be carried out while fully respecting the rules regarding environmental protection,” said Amorim.
The emergency modules to be transported to Antarctica will be installed at the helipad on the Brazilian base, located on King George Island. These modules will house some, but not all, of the Brazilian researchers. The remaining researchers will stay in the Cámara Base, a station operated by Argentina. The neighboring country, having already collaborated with emergency assistance during the February fire, granted space to house Brazilian researchers and a share of the area known as the group-base, comprising Navy servicemen responsible for the Antarctic Program maintenance and logistics.
According to Celso Amorim, all steps are being taken in order for construction of the new Brazilian Antarctic base to start in November 2013. In his speech, Amorim mentioned the presence of four Brazilians in the President Frei base, operated by Chile, in addition to the provision of around six places in the Argentine Cámara Base. In the region, joint research can be carried out and professionals can also count on logistic support from the Argentine Navy ship, the San Blás.
Navy commander, Admiral Julio de Moura Neto, explained that within the next few months, the base could see participation from up to 60 researchers. Part of the R$ 40 million released by the federal government will be spent in the removal works. Admiral Moura Neto explained that the total costs will only be known after the completion of bidding from the company that will rebuild the Antarctic base.
“I am convinced that cooperation between Latin American countries – and especially among South American countries – will be increasingly important in order to strengthen our presence and our common interests under the Antarctic Treaty,” he said. “I note with particular satisfaction that the coordination of our positions in this area is included among the objectives of the UNASUR South American Council of Defense,” he added, suggesting that RAPAL (Latin American Antarctic Programs Administrators' Meeting) becomes part of UNASUR.
Ministry of Defense