The Tasmanian Government has announced work has begun on the new $7 million redevelopment of the Macquarie Wharf Number 2 Shed, which will be able to host new Antarctic research vessels from China.


The project will transform the former storage shed into a Antarctic shipping and logistics hub, along with facilities for visiting cruise ships.


The Premier, Lara Giddings, and Minister for Economic Development, David O'Byrne, today inspected progress on the Mac 2 development.


It follows successful meetings with the Chinese Vice Minister for Land and Resources, the head of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration and the Director-General of the Polar Research Institute of China.


"As a direct result of these meetings I am now optimistic that we will see Chinese research vessels using Hobart as a supply port in the near future," Ms Giddings said.


Ms Giddings said during the visit the University of Tasmania also explored the potential for research collaborations between the Chinese and the Institute of Marine and Antarctic studies, also under construction on the Hobart Waterfront.


"The Polar Research Institute of China was very impressed with the IMAS development and have indicated enthusiasm to tap into our world class Southern Ocean research."


Mr O'Byrne said the redevelopment of Mac 2 is due to be completed by March next year and would provide vital infrastructure to compliment Tasmania's natural deep port advantage and proximity to the Antarctic region.