British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has taken delivery of a Komatsu, a PC130-6 tracked excavato
Following a stringent tender and selection process, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has taken delivery of their first Komatsu, a PC130-6 tracked excavator, for use at its Halley Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
The excavator began its journey to Antarctica at the beginning of December, sailing from Grimsby via Capetown, arriving at the site just after Christmas. The PC130-6 which has been put through the Komatsu Dealer Qualified programme and provided by sole distributor Marubeni-Komatsu, will be used for snow management and general snow operations around the site during the construction of a new research station.
The new complex, the sixth to be constructed since 1956, replaces the current Halley V Research Station. Located 10,000 miles from the UK on the Brunt Ice Shelf, the new station will allow long-running research on global change to continue at the site where the ozone hole was discovered.
To ensure the machine is reliable in a climate where typical Antarctic summer temperatures are around -20ºC, a number of modifications have been made to the excavator by BAS. Aviation fuel will be used in the machine as normal fuel would simply freeze over. Jet A-1 fuel can be used in temperatures as low as -47ºC but gives a 5% reduction in performance. This is then compensated for by dense air conditions.
The Marubeni-Komatsu Dealer Qualified Scheme is designed to provide peace of mind for anyone purchasing a previously owned Komatsu. The machine is put through a rigorous assessment and inspection process; any parts that need to be replaced are of course, genuine Komatsu parts. All Dealer Qualified machines come with a 3 month/500 hour power line warranty.
The Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a world leader in research into global environmental issues. With an annual budget of around £45 million, five Antarctic Research Stations, two Royal Research Ships and five aircraft BAS undertakes an interdisciplinary research programme and plays an active and influential role in Antarctic affairs. BAS has joint research projects with over 40 UK universities and has more than 120 national and international collaborations. It is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council.
Martin Bell, Plant Manager at British Antarctic Survey comments on the purchase:
"After a tender process of 4 weeks, the Komatsu was chosen from a number of invited distributors based on them meeting all of our requirements, at the right cost.
The Komatsu PC130-6 is a great machine and is very useful around our vast site. It's smooth and has a good capacity for its size. I've been very impressed with the help and support we've received from Marubeni-Komatsu."