The reconstruction of Rothera Wharf for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is to accommodate the RRS Sir David Attenborough vessel and reduce manual handling cargo loading/unloading time during station relief to allow the ship to spend more time on research cruises.

Contractor BAM International developed a construction system of prefabricated steel frames for wharf construction on site in 2 Antarctic summer working windows. In conjunction with BAM, Proserve developed a partially shuttered grout bag system to overcome the tolerances of the sloping blasted rock bed and form insitu concrete foundation bearings to the frame piles.

The grout bag bearings were meticulously developed and trialled in a range of circumstances before manufacture and transporting the grout bag bearings to Antarctica as modifications would not be possible within the construction window. All 30 pile bases were successfully formed.

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