October 2018

Elia begins work on connection between Bruegel and Sint-Agatha-Berchem

On 5 November 2018, Elia will begin work on the cable connection between the Bruegel high-voltage substation in Dilbeek and the Sint-Agatha-Berchem high-voltage substation. We are replacing an existing oil-filled cable connection with a new cable connection. To start with, work will take place between the intersection of Brusselstraat and Bekkerzeelstraat and the intersection with Lindeberg and Hoogveld. Brusselstraat will remain open to traffic in both directions, access to your home will be guaranteed (if not, the contractor will contact you) and footpaths and cycle lanes will continue to be accessible.

The project 

Elia is replacing the underground cable connection between the Bruegel high-voltage substation in Dilbeek and the high-voltage substation in Sint-Agatha-Berchem. The work taking place within the Flemish Region will start in early November 2018 will last approximately one year based on the current schedule.

Need for the project

The cable connection currently linking the Dilbeek and Sint-Agatha-Berchem high-voltage substations is reaching the end of its service life. The cable must therefore be replaced to limit the risk of grid disruption as much as possible and ensure the reliability of the power grid in and around Brussels.

A phased approach to limit the impact

The work will mainly take place along public roads and will affect mobility and accessibility in your area. To limit disruption, we are carrying out the work in stages. This means that we are dividing the route into small sections of cable and will keep moving the worksite onwards. As a result, you will only experience disruption in your area for a limited time.


From 5 November 2018 onwards, we will carry out work between the Bruegel high-voltage substation in Brusselstraat and the intersection with Lindenberg and Hoogveld.


Laying an underground cable

This process encompasses the following six phases:


Consultation with municipalities

Elia consults the municipalities involved and makes arrangements with local authorities and services.


The field survey analyses the location of existing utility lines, potential obstacles along the route, and other archaeological factors. This detailes study determines the exact location of the underground cables. A topographical survey is performed. Elia arranges the signage needed and potential diversion routes.

Digging of trenches

Elia begins digging the trenches in which cables will subsequently be laid. The trenches are approximately 1 metre wide and 1.05 metres deep. It takes two months to compete each cable section (around one kilometre). 


Directional drilling

Elia carries out directional drilling at intersections, waterways and railways. Elia also digs trenches, each of which is two metres wide and equipped with drainage pumps to keep it dry. Elia’s trenches are always around one kilometre long.


Cable pulling through the trenches

A cable reel is used to lay the cables in the trench over a distance of around one kilometre. The cables are laid in a special type of sand in order to control the temperature and are covered with protective plates.


Restoration of the site

Elia restores the site to its original state once work is complete.


Elia always takes the environment into account in its work. The high-voltage system operator takes a range of measures intended to minimise disruption and impact on the environment.

  • Work only takes place during the day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Once work is complete, the land is always restored to its original state.
  • Elia guarantees that local residents will always be able to access their home on foot.
  • In the event of specific, temporarily increased disruption for residents, Elia or its subcontractor(s) will always let the affected parties know individually via a letter.
  • When diversions are required for normal traffic, this is arranged with the road authority and clearly communicated to residents.





If you have any questions, or would like more information, please call the free hotline on 0800 11 089 or send an e-mail to