Voyage of discovery

Polar Pod partnership extended to include Perseverance support vessel

Already on board as a partner for the pioneering Polar Pod expedition, AkzoNobel has now been announced as the exclusive paints and coatings supplier for the hybrid supply vessel which will support the manned oceanographic station.

Due to start its three-year mission in 2023, the Polar Pod will enable international scientists and researchers to study the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The dedicated supply vessel – christened Perseverance – will deliver supplies and rotate the crew every two months. Designed to withstand heavy seas and ice, it will be protected by our high-performance marine coatings.

“Our partnership with the Polar Pod mission is an exciting example of how far we’re prepared to go to better understand how we can become even more sustainable,” says Jean-Michel Gauthier, Director of the company’s Marine and Protective Coatings business.

“It’s also a great opportunity for us to help advance scientific knowledge of the pivotal role the Southern Ocean plays on the Earth’s climate and marine biodiversity.” 

Elev Voile Compo

Construction work on the Polar Pod and the supply ship is due to start in early 2022. Both will have to withstand a constant battering from the elements. Which is where our coatings come in. They’re designed to cope with whatever harsh weather conditions Mother Nature can throw at them.

Taller than the Statue of Liberty, the zero emission Polar Pod won’t be motorized. It will be silently driven by the circumpolar current – like an ocean-going satellite – as it gradually makes its way around the Antarctic continent. The supply ship will leave the nearest port to join the platform on its drift course as it crosses the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and slowly negotiates the most powerful current on the planet.

Operating in an area that sailors refer to as the Furious Fifties, the Polar Pod will gather data and carry out long-term observations that will be transmitted to researchers, oceanographers, climatologists and biologists at 43 scientific institutions in 12 countries.

Adds Gauthier: “The Polar Pod mission is an ideal match for our own environmental ambition and fits perfectly with our aim to deliver sustainable and innovative solutions for our customers, communities and the world we live in. We’re looking forward to supporting the team and raising awareness of the program as the mission begins to gather momentum.”

Polar Pod

To the ends of the Earth

Learn more about our partnership with the Polar Pod

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