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Geoquip’s involvement in the British Antarctic Survey new wharf project

Q. What’s the link between a new wharf in the Antarctic and Geoquip?

A. A partnership approach to solving a potentially tricky problem.

While we might think temperatures are a bit chilly, spare a thought for the team at British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station, where work has started on a seven-10 year modernisation programme.

As part of the development, the existing wharf is being demolished and a new one built to accommodate BAS’s new, much larger research vessel, the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

During the two-year project, BAS needed to find a way for fuel supplies to continue between the onshore fuel tanks and visiting ships, which would previously have docked at the wharf.

Geoquip was approached to find a solution and worked in partnership with Angus Flexible Pipelines, which recommended the Angus Offshore 850 Fuel Transfer Hoses and Reeler to enable temporary ship-to-shore refueling to take place.

Rodger Collins, UK sales manager at Angus, said: “The system had to be compact due to space restrictions on the supply vessel, and capable of operation in temperatures down to minus 30 degrees Celsius.  It had to be simple to operate and robust due to the harsh environment, including the rough ground.”

Fitting the bill perfectly, the Angus Offshore 850 comprises of a very robust and weather-resistant Polyurethane hose, complete with two built-in anti-static wires, which are crucial for operating in the very dry Antarctica atmosphere and because of the fuel being pumped. 

An easy-to-operate deployment and retrieval system runs off any available on-site hydraulic powerpack (such as BAS tractors), which ensures it is not dependent on special parts or materials.

The bespoke designed and manufactured deployment and retrieval reeler system is capable of carrying up to 1000m of hose, while the pigging system consists of a launcher, collector and pigs, and the system comes with flotation collars for the couplings and provides increased visibility.

Rodger continued: “Geoquip have been a partner for many years.  Their wealth of experience in project work and familiarity with Angus products makes them the ideal local contact for BAS.

“We have been previous suppliers of re-fuelling equipment to BAS and are always ready to participate in any hose-based projects they undertake. We have also supplied hoses and equipment to Australian, US and Japanese survey teams.”

After overseeing the ordering and delivery process, Mike Deed said: “This was an exciting project to work on with BAS and Angus and we were delighted to play our part in helping with the future development of Rothera Research Station.”

The teams were pleased to see on the BBC website that the DS Wisconsin, which left Teesport, near Middlesbrough, at the end of November, successfully docked in the Antarctic after a month-long voyage, complete with its 83 sea containers of supplies - including the vital hoses and reeler system.

For more information about the Rothera Modernisation project, visit: