Auvelais - Gembloux


July 3, 2017

Elia meets representatives of local residents' advisory committee CoCoRiCo

At the request of the municipal authorities of Gembloux and Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre, on Monday, 3 July 2017 the Elia team working on the planned Auvelais-Gembloux connection met representatives of the local residents' advisory committee CoCoRiCo.

At the meeting, Elia was presented with alternative underground routes for the connection, drawn up by the committee's members. The meeting was both positive and constructive.

Elia pledges to submit these alternative proposals to the engineering consultancy working on Elia's project. These proposals will be added to the work done by the experts as part of the project's Environmental Impact Assessment. This work was presented to the local residents at the public information meeting held on 6 March 2017.

The consultancy, CSD Engineers, will thus be able to produce a full, credible and realistic analysis of the potential impact of Elia's project and its underground alternatives on the environment (in the broad sense of the term).

The consultancy's conclusions are still due to be submitted towards the end of the year and will be presented to the general public within the framework of the public consultation.

June 6, 2017

Auvelais-Gembloux connection: an overhead line is still the preferred design

Following a number of articles in today's press, Elia would like to reiterate that its preferred design for the connection is still the overhead line presented at the advance public information meetings in Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre on 6 March and Gembloux on 20 March.

Nevertheless, in response to the main request voiced by local residents at the information meetings held prior to the launch of the Environmental Impact Assessment (i.e. the feasibility of an underground connection), the consultancy CSD Engineers has asked Elia to provide it with the required information on this option so that it can perform its analysis. This is why Elia is currently working with highway and underground infrastructure managers to identify the best route for an underground connection.

The information obtained will enable CSD Engineers to provide a comprehensive, credible and realistic analysis of how the planned connection (and the underground alternative) could potentially impact the environment in the broadest sense (e.g. ground, air, water, climate, biological environment, landscape and heritage, urban and spatial planning, mobility, waste, health and safety, socio-economic aspects, noise, quality of life, residents).

The consultancy is expected to publish its findings towards the end of the year. The results and the project being considered by Elia will be presented to the municipal authorities and local residents. If necessary, Elia will then adapt its plans based on the comments received from each party before submitting the final version of the project for public consultation.

May 12, 2017 

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Following the meetings in March and the letters received in the course of the procedure, the design office has now begun its analysis.
As you will recall, the EIA is:

  • an orientation tool for the applicant, enabling him to optimise his first draft;
  • a decision support tool for the authorities, so it must contain all the necessary information based on credible and realistic scenarios;
  • an information source for the general public.

Information, consultation, collaboration

Since the start of the project, Elia has sought to work totally transparently and in collaboration with the municipalities involved.

This was why on 12 May the Elia team (Dorien Jannis, Christophe Coq and Nathan Vervaeke) met up again with representatives from the municipalities of Gembloux and Jemeppe-sur-Sambre.

It was agreed that in order to take greater account of local residents' main demand and enable the design office to submit a full, credible and realistic analysis, over the next few weeks within the framework of the EIA, Elia and the municipal administrations would work together to set the route of an underground connection that could be studied as an alternative to the planned overhead line.

It was also agreed that a progress report on this work should be presented to the public within a few months. Likewise, at the respective muncipal councils' request, the design office will present the final conclusions of its assessment to the public. These conclusions are currently expected by the end of the year.

Advance public information meeting

The advance public information meeting for the Auvelais-Gembloux high-voltage overhead connection project was held at the Salle des Fêtes in Spy on 6 March 2017. At the meeting, residents of the affected municipalities were given a full presentation of the project. This was followed by a question-and-answer session.

From today 7 March 2017 until 21 March 2017, i.e. 15 calendar days, anyone can submit comments and suggestions about the project to Jemeppe-sur-Sambre municipal council with a copy to Elia, making sure to include their name and address.

All such comments and suggestions will be taken into account in the Environmental Impact Study carried out by independent engineering firm CSD Engineers.

Correspondence should be sent to

Administration communale de Jemeppe-sur-Sambre
Service Urbanisme
Place communale, 20
5190 Jemeppe-sur-Sambre

With a copy to

Elia Asset
Christophe COQ
Boulevard de l'Empereur 20
B-1000 Bruxelles

Public consultation

Once the permit application has been submitted to the relevant authorities, residents of the affected municipalities will be able to view the plans and the results of the Environmental Impact Study. The full file will be available at their municipal council offices. They will then have 30 days to submit their comments.

The dates and details of this procedure will be communicated in due course.

Elia will also hold additional information sessions for the municipalities concerned, if they so wish.

 

Réunion d’information préalable du public

En sa qualité de gestionnaire du réseau électrique belge à haute tension, Elia projette la construction d’une nouvelle liaison électrique (2x150kV) entre le pylône 6 à Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre et le poste de Gembloux. Celle-ci permettra la démolition partielle de la liaison électrique 1x70kV reliant actuellement les postes d’Auvelais (Sambreville) et de Gembloux (du pylône 7 au pylône 68N).

Selon la procédure légale en vigueur, Elia organise une Réunion d’Information Préalable au Public :

Le lundi 6 mars 2017 à 18H30
A la salle des Fêtes, rue de l’enseignement, 2 à 5190 Spy

Cette rencontre permettra à Elia de vous informer au mieux sur son avant-projet et vous donnera l’occasion d’émettre vos observations et suggestions.
Toute personne pourra également faire part de ses remarques, dans un délai de 15 jours, à dater du 6 mars.

elles-ci devront être adressées par écrit au :

  • Collège communal de Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre (Place communale, 20 à 5190 Jemeppe-sur-Sambre)

Avec copie au :

  • Demandeur (Elia Asset SA, à l’attention de Christophe Coq - Boulevard de l’Empereur, 20 à 1000 Bruxelles)

Pour être valables, les observations transmises doivent obligatoirement comporter le nom et l’adresse de l’expéditeur. Toutes les remarques seront prises en compte dans le cadre de l’Etude des Incidences sur l’Environnement réalisée par le bureau d’étude indépendant CSD Ingénieurs.



Pour vous informer au mieux, Elia met également à votre disposition un numéro vert et une adresse mail.

      

En collaboration avec la commune de Gembloux, une réunion complémentaire sera organisée le lundi 20 mars 2017 de 19h30 à 21h30 à la cafétéria du complexe sportif - Rue de la Maison d’Orbay, 5032 Corroy-Le-Château.

Elia tient à mener une communication proactive et transparente afin de rester à votre écoute tout au long de ses projets d’infrastructure.

By 2020, Elia plans to take down the 1x70kV power line between pylon 7 at Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre and the Gembloux substation and replace it with a new power line (2x150kV) between pylon 6 at Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre and the Gembloux substation.

The project affects the municipalities of Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre, Gembloux, Sambreville and Sombreffe.

The current connection is nearing the end of its life and will not be able to meet the region's future electricity needs.

Three needs identified

  • Ensure the safety and security of people and infrastructure
  • Enhance grid reliability
  • Enable the energy transition

To meet these three challenges, Elia plans to:

  • take down the existing line, which is no longer fit for purpose;
  • build new infrastructure along an optimised route;
  • increase the electrical capacity to enable the energy transition.

An investment for future generations

Elia plans to invest €10 million in this infrastructure project. This investment is included in the 2015-2025 Federal Development Plan and has been approved by the Minister of Energy.

Elia's investment policy must be made with due diligence: every euro spent must be authorised by the government(s) as part of a federal/regional plan and invested wisely.

This philosophy underpins the entire project.

 

Opportunity to optimise the route

Working with local partners, Elia has used the project as an opportunity to devise a route that avoids residential areas as much as possible.

A number of factors were considered:

  • Limiting the length of the route
  • Avoiding residential areas, rural residential areas and isolated dwellings
  • Observing safety distances
  • Minimising impacts on the environment and public
  • Limiting inconvenience to farmers

Following a study and consultation with all its partners, Elia has come up with a route that avoids three residential areas (link to the route) :

  • Corroy-Le-Château
  • Balâtre-Saint-Martin
  • Neighbourhood in the municipality of Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre

Technology delivering ever safer infrastructure

Elia plans to erect lattice pylons in order to comply with the strictest standards currently in force and to meet the region's electricity needs.

These will be taller and wider than the current concrete poles and have a lifetime of around 100 years.

However, the strength of the new supports means that the number of pylons required will be almost halved.

The new route will therefore include just 36 pylons, compared with 69 currently.

In all its infrastructure projects, Elia is committed to complying with the most stringent standard in effect at the time of the line's construction.


The changes

  BEFORE AFTER
Municipalities affected  4 : Gembloux, Sombreffe, Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Sambreville 3 : Gembloux ; Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Sambreville
Overhead line  1 3-phase transmission line 2 3-phase transmission lines
Voltage 70 kV 150 kV
Route length 12 km 12 km
Pylon height approx. 25 m approx. 43 m
Number of pylons 69 36
Types of supports 62 concrete pylons
+ 7 lattice pylons
6 old lattice pylons
+ 30 new lattice pylons

 

Dialogue at the heart of the administrative procedure

As when building a house, the construction of new infrastructure such as this requires planning permission.

In the case of the Auvelais-Gembloux project, there is also a legal requirement to hold an advance public information meeting and a public consultation. These are two opportunities for the project developer to meet with local residents.

Elia is committed to transparent communication and can be contacted throughout the project by calling 0800 18 002 or emailing riverains@elia.be. It will organise additional information sessions during the administrative procedure with any local authorities that request them.

Provisional schedule

  1. 2015 : Inclusion of the project in the 2015-2025 Federal Development Plan, approved by the Minister of Energy
  2. June to December 2016 : Informing and consulting local partners
  3. 6 March 2017 : Advance public information meeting - official presentation of the project. Anyone who wishes to submit comments to Elia can do so within 15 days following the advance public information meeting.
  4. 20 March 2017 : Additional information session in Gembloux
  5. March - December 2017 : Environmental Impact Study conducted by the independent engineering firm, addressing all questions and comments put forward at the public information meeting, among other things
  6. January 2018: Permit applications submitted to the Walloon Region and federal authorities   
  7. January 2018: Public consultation - local residents review the full planning permit application files and have 30 days in which to submit their comments to the municipal authorities   
  8. 2018-2020 : Works
  9. Late 2020 : Commissioning of the new overhead line

For the Auvelais-Gembloux project, Elia plans to carry out the works in two successive stages. This is because, to guarantee grid reliability, the new line has to be commissioned before the old one is taken down:

 

Stage 1: Erecting the new pylons and commissioning the line

Elia plans to carry out the work in five separate phases, followed by a sixth phase aimed at developing local biodiversity.

 

 

  • Phase 1 - Lopping and clearance : Lopping/clearance may be required at some points along the route. This will be done in consultation with the land owners and operators.

  • Phase 2 - Réalisation des accès au chantier : Following a survey carried out with the land owners/operators, temporary access roads will be created to accommodate site traffic required for the works.

  • Phase 3 - Création des fondations : The soil removed to create these foundations will be taken away by dump truck. The new infrastructure will be erected in the same place as the current line.
  • Phase 4 - Erecting pylons : The pylons will be transported by lorry. They will arrive in separate parts and will be assembled and erected on site. The last stage consists of pulling the cables from end to end so they can be attached to the metal crossarms.

  • Phase 5 - Clearing up the site : As soon as the project is finished, the temporary access roads will be dismantled and the land will be restored to its original state. All waste from the site will be collected and taken to an accredited waste processing centre. A final survey will be conducted of the site area.

  • Phase 6 - Developing biodiversity : Elia will look for partners to implement projects aimed at developing local biodiversity.

 

Stage 2: Dismantling the old pylons

Elia plans to carry out the work in four separate phases.

 

  • Phase 1 - Lopping and clearance : Lopping/clearance may be required at some points along the route. This will be done in consultation with the land owners and operators.

  • Phase 2 - Réalisation des accès au chantier : Following a survey carried out with the land owners/operators, temporary access roads will be created to accommodate site traffic required for the works.

  • Phase 3 - Dismantling old pylons : The old supports can only be dismantled once the new line has been commissioned. The conductors will be removed section by section and immediately rewound using pulling and braking machines. The pylons will be dismantled and the foundations removed from the ground. They will then be taken away by lorry.

  • Phase 4 - Clearing up the site : As soon as the project is finished, the temporary access roads will be dismantled and the land will be restored to its original state. All waste from the site will be collected and taken to an accredited waste processing centre. A final survey will be conducted of the site area.

     

 

 

Auvelais-Gembloux, an environmentally-friendly project

Investing in the future and enabling the energy transition

One of the aims of the project is to enable the energy transition over the long term.

We are currently in a period of major transition linked to irrevocable changes in the energy landscape. EU requirements on renewable energy generation (at least 20% of the country's needs to be met by renewable energy by 2020) are ambitious and will accelerate changes in our generation methods and their decentralisation.

The Belgian grid needs to be upgraded and adapted to meet these emerging challenges. With electricity no longer being generated only by a central player but by multiple generators, with facilities in sunny and windy locations, we have to be able to transmit that electricity to all parts of the country, as we do today.

Elia therefore plans to gradually increase the electrical capacity of the future connection from 1x70 kV to 2x150 kV.

 

Developing biodiversity

Elia regularly works with external partners to examine opportunities for developing biodiversity in the areas crossed by its infrastructure.

The aim is to create projects that enhance the ecological network and improve the habitat for flora and fauna, sometimes in innovative ways.

A number of such projects are currently being examined:

  • Landscaping the area around pylon bases to create habitats for plants and wildlife
  • Transforming forest corridors beneath high-voltage lines into eco-corridors
  • Bird markers

 Bird markers are spirals fitted onto conductors to make the cables more visible to birds and so avoid collisions.

  • Creating a denser ecological network (by planting hedges, trees, etc.)
  • Installing nest boxes on pylon bases

 Elia wants to include the Auvelais-Gembloux project in this drive to develop local biodiversity.

Communication is one of Elia's priorities, along with respecting the environment and securing the region's power supply.

Elia is committed to transparent and proactive communication in all the projects it undertakes. Any member of the public can contact the company with concerns or questions throughout the process, from the advance public information meeting through to the completion of works and entry into service of the connections.

Please don't hesitate to contact us because we strive for total transparency in our relations with both local authorities and local residents!

  • Freephone number : 0800 18 002
  • Email : riverains@elia.be
  • Correspondence : Elia, Communication Department, Boulevard de l’Empereur, 20, B-1000 Brussels