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China Plans 3rd Antarctic Station
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China has kicked off renovation of its two research stations in Antarctica, and is planning on a third permanent research base on the continent, according to China's Polar Research Institute.


the Changcheng station


Qin Weijia, deputy director of the institute, said the renovation had started on the Changcheng (Great Wall) station, built in 1985 on King George Island.


The renovation will cost more than 100 million yuan (US$13 million). It is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.


Qin said the facilities at the station had become outdated. Also, underground water had eroded a few cement and steel structures. "Some floors have cracked and crumbled, and become very dangerous," he said.


"The new facilities will be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than the original ones," Qin said. He added that they plan to construct a new research building as well as waste and sewage treatment centers.


Soon work will also begin on the Zhongshan station, built in 1989 on the Larsemann Hills.


According to the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the third station will be built at Dome-A, the highest point on the continent at 4,093 meters above sea level. It is expected to be completed before 2010.


China launched its first expedition to the Antarctic in 1984. Chinese scientists have carried out 22 scientific expeditions to the South Pole to date.



the Zhongshan station


(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2007)

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