Researchers rejoice as construction starts of offshore Arctic station

This article discusses the start of construction of an offshore Arctic station. The new installation will be crucial for our studies of the rapid ongoing changes in the region, Russian Arctic research leaders say. The “North Pole” research station will be able to autonomously drift through Arctic waters for period of up to two years at a time.

There was pride and celebration among the people who on 20th December assembled at the Admiralty Yard in St.Petersburg to mark the official start of construction of the «North Pole» station. The 84 meter long, 22,5 meter wide platform will be the world’s first research station permanently based in high Arctic waters.

It is to be completed in year 2020, and the cutting of metal for the hull officially started on December 21st, Roshydromet informs.

«The cutting of the metal marks the start of the construction of a unique, comfortable and reliable drifting station that undoubtably will open en new page in our national polar history,» said Natalia Radkova, Deputy Director of state meteorological institute Roshydromet.

The station that has got the name «North Pole». It has a deadweight of 10,390 tons and an engine that enables it to move through light ice with a 10 knots speed.

The installation will have permanently have onboard a Mi-8 helicopter.

For periods of up to two years at a time, the «North Pole» will be drifting autonomously across the Arctic with a crew of 14 and teams of up to 34 researchers.

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