Unique cryonics project at Holbrook a step closer

FROZEN: Plans for a cryonics centre in Holbrook.
FROZEN: Plans for a cryonics centre in Holbrook.

WORK is expected to begin soon on a warehouse to store dead people with the hope of bringing them back to life.

Expressions of interest are being sought for the construction of the new cryonics warehouse in Holbrook’s Enterprise Drive.

Tender figures are likely to be received early next month with construction to start soon after.

Once it’s complete, bodies will be stored inside the building in large stainless steel tubes filled with liquid nitrogen at less than -196 degrees.

The theory is that once the technology catches up, the bodies could be defrosted and the people brought back to life.

Building designer Phil Wilkins said despite being a unique project – it will be the first such facility in the southern hemisphere – the construction will be straightforward.

“In reality, the building itself is basically an office and warehouse,” he said.

“It will have a room that could be likened to a mortuary, the same as what the average funeral director would have.

“But the rest, as far as construction technique goes, is fairly mainstream. There will be precast concrete, a steel frame and Colorbond roof.”

The facility is expected to take 20 to 25 weeks to build, with up to 10 tradespeople likely to be on site at any time.

Mr Wilkins hopes Border workers will be used.

The specialised equipment for storing the bodies – four metre tall tubes known as dewars – will be supplied by Stasis Systems, the company behind the facility.

“The only item that would be seen as different is an onsite liquid nitrogen storage tank,” Mr Wilkins said.

“That would be used to top up the dewars as needed.

“I've done a few interesting jobs over the years, and this is one of them.”

The construction will cost about $450,000. 

A development application approved by Greater Hume Shire councillors last April notes the possibility of expansion. 

Less than three bodies are forecast to be received in the first five years but over time that intake is expected to grow to one each year. 

One or two staff members will work at the site initially which will increase when bodies are prepared for freezing, which can take up to three days. 

Mayor Heather Wilton said the project was definitely “different", but positive for the town. 

“We welcome it in the area – I think it will be great,” she said.