In 1989 Pelly secured a contract with the British Government to build a runway and ancillary items that included a hangar, large fuel storage tanks and a water system. The project was located on Adelaide Island on the Antarctic Peninsula approximately 1000 miles south of Cape Horn. Pelly won the contract in a competition that was open to bidders worldwide.
The contract required the contractor to be totally self-sufficient. A world-wide search turned up a Swedish ship that met all of Pelly's cargo requirements. The ship was positioned from Europe to Vancouver where it was loaded with earthmoving and crushing equipment, spare parts, building supplies, blasting materials, fuel, food and all required items to perform a two season contract without further support.
The control of the blasting was critical as the existing research station buildings and fuel storage were within 100 meters of the quarry location. The contract was successfully carried out and was finished ahead of the completion date. Changes to the original work and price, other than the wharf, amounted to less than 1%.
Environmental protection is a paramount concern in Antarctica. There were some potential risks such as moving all of the cargo including 1,250,000 liters of fuel ashore from a ship that could not tie up or anchor due to the depth of water and drifting ice. An inspection from the World Wildlife Federation resulted in a compliment regarding the clean, pollution free work site.