Antarctica's Scott Base to get $250 million upgrade

Source: 1News

New Zealand's Antarctic scientific outpost, Scott Base, is set for a major multi-million dollar redevelopment.

Designs for the new-look, 10,000 square metre complex have been unveiled today.

The $250 million dollar scientific complex will protect up to 100 people from the harsh climate of Antarctica.

The new design, consisting of three large interconnected buildings was shown off by the Deputy Prime Minister in Christchurch today.

The new facility will replace the old Scott Base - and will be built on the same site.

The old base, built in 1957 and added to over time, is starting to show its age but its replacement may not be complete until 2030.

Scott Base Redevelopment Senior Project Manager Simon Shelton says it's about three times the cost to build in Antarctica.

"It's a fully self-sufficient building in the most remote, harshest continent on earth, so that does come at a cost," he says.

The build presents a significant economic opportunity for Christchurch - which is seen as a gateway city to Antarctica.

For construction industry and support services, it's expected to generate a multi-million dollar boost for the local economy.

Cabinet still needs to sign off on the final plan but is expected to put $200 million towards the project, with a further $50 million to come from donations.