Thursday, December 27, 2012

McMurdo's Lifeblood

McMurdo's lifeblood, that which keeps us from freezing, makes our water and generates our power is OIL. Lots and lots of oil.  We use over 5 million gallons of the stuff every year.  Total station capacity will be 13 million gallons.  Vehicle and equipment use about 200,000 gallons of gas and diesel, but aircraft make up the biggest user, almost 3 million gallons annually.

With the world wide scarcity of Ice breaker ships and America's indecision about whether to repair our existing ones or build new ones, it was decided at the highest level to build another storage tank in case, one year, a tanker could not get to McMurdo to refill the fuel tanks.  It takes an icebreaker to break up the sea ice so a tanker can get to McMurdo. A new 2 million gallon tank is being built as a supplement, just in case.  It will go thru an extensive testing phase and should be online in about a year. Here are some photos of the new tank being built.

A massive 122' in diameter, 24' tall steel tank.
This tank will hold 2 million gallons.

View inside the tank, a tool belt, cords & a steel floor.

View of the tank walls with Observation hill behind.

Interesting rust designs on the steel.

Putting on the roof, like a pieces of a puzzle.

Close up of the roof pieces.

Two cranes and lots of steel.

Inside view with roof support posts and beams.


Awesome shapes, designs and colors.

A massive undertaking.
Tank finished, stairs to the top.

Roof complete.

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