Taking protection to the extreme

Nov 25, 2021 | News

AkzoNobel is not a stranger to extreme
environments. Although it’s not too often that its products find they have polar bears as neighbours.

However, way up in the wilds of Svalbard in Norway – where whales and walruses frolic in the nearby waves – is a disused weather and radio station which has become a Mecca for adventure tourism, and the nearest human neighbours are in Greenland.

Isfjord Radio on the island of Spitsbergen is a boutique hotel offering wilderness accommodation which serves as a base for intrepid explorers who are brave enough to make the trip. The site itself is made up of seven buildings, which needed to undergo major work over a period of several years to ensure they could withstand the harsh environment.

Vital choice

Choosing the right paint was vital, so Basecamp Explorer (who rent and operate the site) called in the experts from AkzoNobel’s Nordsjö brand. An initial on-site inspection was clearly in order, and it was Nordsjö’s Norwegian Technical Manager, Per Myhre, who made the trip, along with Swedish colleague Mats Nilsson – but this wasn’t to be any ordinary visit.

The round-trip by snowmobile from Longyearbyen (which normally takes three or four hours) took nearly nine hours, due to the rough weather. Having arrived safely – if a touch weary – the next day they got on with the task in hand – creating a technical specification for the recommended painting treatment.

“It was a very challenging project, because the buildings all have different facades – mostly made of wood, concrete and metal,” explains Myhre. “So we had to consider different
systems for each substrate.”

Read the full article in our latest issue PCE International Oct – Dec 2021 (flickread.com)