Benoit. Credits: IPEV/PNRA
I am Benoit Joncheray from Nantes, in the west of France, where I was born in 1990 and learnt the tricks of my trade – plumbing. I spent the last winter at Concordia research station in Antarctica as an employee of the French polar institute IPEV. My mission lasted 15 months. I have been attracted to Concordia ever since it was built but I never imagined I would one day work here. This was my first experience working outside of France!
I was the technician responsible for the plumbing and heating at Concordia. Producing water, storing it and distributing it is essential to stay alive but also adds much to our comfort. We need to think of everything in Antarctica as the water we use comes from melted snow, but the snow does not contain minerals and can quickly become contaminated. We add minerals to the water for health and treat it with UV light for safety.
We have to rely on our independence down here and we use many different skills to make, modify and repair all manner of items. Working as a technician on this base we maintain, improve and enlarge the station’s systems.