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December 5, 2011 at 3:52 am #1342skua77Keymaster
Remember how not very long ago USAP was having difficulty arranging for an icebreaker? Well, that hurdle got surmounted in the nick of time, but now suddenly there’s this other little obstacle in the way of a successful shipping season. The new ice pier cannot be used.
While the work on the pier started on time, and normally there would have been no problem completing it, this season the weather was unseasonably warm, which prevented proper freezing. And storms frequently prevented work. Also, there was some extra runway preparation for medevac ops which diverted some of the work force from pier construction. Anyway…the new ice pier is only about half as thick as it is supposed to be, there is only one layer of reinforcing cables, and it is simply not strong enough to support the cargo ship offload.
Last week it was decided that it would be towed out of the way closer to Hut Point, and that pontoons would be brought down to be used for the cargo offload.
What pontoons? And how will they get there? Well, it seems that on 1 December the Navy issued an urgent cost-and-availability inquiry looking for a suitable ice-class vessel that could carry pontoons (causeway sections) from Lyttelton to McMurdo AND have crane capability to offload and set them in position to create a pier platform. Next month. These vessels, like icebreakers, don’t grow on trees, and like icebreakers, they are heavily committed months if not years in advance to the oil industry and other shippers and developers.
The situation would presumably not affect the tanker offload, since hoses don’t weigh much. But all those milvans…frozen food, science cargo, vehicles, power plant parts, construction material, potables…
Here’s the 2 December Antarctic Sun article: http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/features/contenthandler.cfm?id=2548 and here’s the GSA contracting request for information https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=0d8696601a4bc1b53d3d4eba406a5ae4&tab=core&_cview=1
Tick. Tick.December 7, 2011 at 2:39 am #11314
latest from this end is that it is that we are going to be using the Army modular causeway system.
Loaded on the boat at PTH and unloaded and set up here by army specialists.December 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm #11315kaikouraMember
the end result? don’t keep us in suspense.. 😀December 28, 2011 at 9:21 am #11316
We won’t know how well it’s going to work for another month or soDecember 28, 2011 at 9:21 am #11317
We won’t know how well it’s going to work for another month or so
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