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How much coffee would you drink in a year? - Antarctica NZ

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

If you find the weekly grocery shop a chore, imagine one to last a year on the ice.

Two hundred kilograms of coffee beans, 100 cans of peaches and 1900 rolls of toilet paper have just arrived at Scott Base in Antarctica.

The supplies were delivered by an American chartered ship, the MV Ocean Giant, and are part of the 3000-tonne annual haul of supplies sent south.

Included in this year’s cargo was also a triple glazed window, Toyota Landcruiser, Polaris side-by-side, two rowing machines, building supplies and all the engineering maintenance equipment needed to keep Scott Base ticking.

It is a logistical marathon and the annual resupply takes a team of people months to organise.

Antarctica New Zealand Logistics Manager Paul Woodgate says they need to think of everything a small community needs for a year, from toilet rolls to bulldozers.

"We have to be a bit creative in what we send down and try to think, what might break down? What extra part might be needed for the water plant or to keep the heaters running and Scott Base warm?

"You can’t just nip down to Countdown or Mitre 10 when something runs out or breaks, so the planning for this shipment started in September last year.

"We need supplies to keep the base clean, everyone fed, warm and the water flowing," he says.

This year 52 New Zealand Defence Force staff have been flown south to help offload the cargo, a huge task which can take up to nine days.

Over the next year a small amount of fresh vegetables and fruit is flown to Scott Base periodically, but the vast majority of supplies for the year arrive in this shipment.

The ship does not return empty, anything that is no longer fit for purpose, disused equipment, waste and rubbish is packed into containers and sent home.

Antarctica New Zealand is allocated space on the US chartered ship as part of the joint logistics pool.

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