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On February 15, 2009, the Princess Elisabeth polar station, the first zero CO2 emission polar station, was officially declared open.
Conceived in 2006 by the Belgian explorer and engineer Alain Hubert, the station gets its electricity supply from renewable energies. After the construction of the building and the assembly of the seven wind turbines in the extreme conditions of the Antarctic, installation of all the functional systems was completed in 2009. The station will very soon be able to host scientific missions, most of which will focus on understanding climate change.
On February 17, 2009, Gérard Mestrallet spoke over a satellite link to:
The conversation ranged over the sustainable development process of which this project is a part, and the major challenges met by this extraordinary project.