By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ANKARA (AA) - Brazil is opening its new Antarctic research base on Tuesday, eight years after a fire destroyed the country's original station.
The new modern base, which is twice the size of the old one, cost nearly $100 million and will be able to accommodate up to 64 professionals of the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR), the local daily G1 reported.
It is located at the same site of the old structure, installed in 1984, in the Keller Peninsula of King George Island and will keep its name as Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station.
Brazilian researchers are on the frozen continent for more than three decades and will continue their research in a range of fields, from environmental microbiology to human physiology, paleontology, and climate change in 17 laboratories of the new base.
Although the inauguration ceremony will be held with the attendance of Vice President Hamilton Mourao and several cabinet ministers, the station will be fully operational within three months after staff training and testing.
The fire, which started during a fuel transfer operation in 2012, destroyed nearly the entire structure of Brazil's Antarctic base and claimed the lives of two soldiers.