Chile will modernize its Antarctic base "President Eduardo Frei Montalva", its main center of activities in Antarctica, in order to strengthen its presence in the frozen continent, President Sebastián Piñera announced today in a visit to the area.
The respective investment plan includes the modernization of infrastructure, facilities, logistical networks and improving energy and resource efficiency, Piñera said at the Frei base, located on King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands, some 3,500 kilometers from Santiago.
The idea, Piñera said, is that "Chile has a solid presence" in Antarctica.
"You know that Antarctica is the continent of the future, many of the problems that humanity is experiencing today are going to find solutions in Antarctica, that is why it must be protected so that it continues to be a white, clean continent of the future," he said. the mandatary.
He also stressed that "safeguarding our legitimate rights over Antarctica is fundamental".
Piñera recalled that this year the Frei base "turns 50 years old and is one of our bases in the white continent, the continent of La Paz, the continent of the future, of science and research".
He added that Chile "has very solid titles over Antarctica, of a historical nature, since colonial times it is part of the territory of Chile, legal titles but above all geographical titles, because today Chile is present in Antarctica".
He added that the modernization of the Frei base will be done in two phases, "the first one has already started and will end in 2022 and the second one will start immediately afterwards".
Among the works include improvements to the runway and the hangar of the base, in addition a wharf for those who travel by sea, and a unique administrative building that is modern and appropriate and will be built for housing.
Each module can accommodate 30 people and additionally a logistics building for basic supplies will be built, "hoping that everything is friendly with the environment," said Piñera, who thanked those who "work and make home in this secluded place."