Elia starts dismantling the high-voltage line between Ciply and Pâturages
The planned upgrade remains essential
The project to build a 150kV underground line between Ciply and Pâturages is currently at a temporary standstill following the rejection of Elia's permit application.
Elia maintains that the replacement of the current 70kV overhead line between Ciply and Pâturages is essential for guaranteeing the region's security of supply in the medium term and supporting its economic development.
Various possibilities for realising this new connection are currently being studied. Elia will contact the local authorities again to work out together how best to relaunch the project.
However, as the existing overhead line is no longer fit for purpose and could pose safety risks, Elia decided to start dismantling it without waiting for the new connection to become operational. Work designed to improve the reliability of the line will be carried out in August and September, pending full dismantling, which will begin in the first half of 2018 when the necessary permits have been obtained.
Despite the dismantling of the 70kV line, the area's short-term security of supply will be guaranteed. It will rely on close cooperation between Elia and the distribution system operator (ORES), which is currently carrying out work to consolidate its distribution system in the region.
This project will replace the current 70kV overhead line between the Ciply and Pâturages substations with an underground line, starting at 70 kV before ultimately reaching 150 kV.
It has three aims:
Replace the current line (70 kV), which was erected in 1932, because it is showing signs of wear and requires action in the medium term.
- Support the region's economic development.
- Meet the growing demand resulting from the integration of new decentralised electricity generation units in the region.
In consultation with the federal authorities, Elia has made this project a priority. A more modern line matching the power of the local grid (150 kV) is crucial to guaranteeing both the smooth operation of the grid in the future and the region's security of supply.
After conducting various studies itself and in light of the environmental impact assessment compiled by SGS Belgium, Elia opted to lay a 150kV underground line which would eventually link the Ciply and Pâturages electricity substations.
Elia plotted the proposed route based on a topographical analysis and the opinions of the authorities and residents involved.
fulfils the requirements of the Regional Spatial Development Perspective (RSDP);
- complies with the technical restrictions;
- limits the distance covered in residential areas;
- incorporates the recommendations made by SGS, the independent consultancy tasked with conducting the impact assessment;
- has minimal impact on mobility and the environment.
If the permit is granted, this 13-km line would pass through the municipalities of Mons, Frameries, Quévy and Colfontaine. The underground line would be mainly laid underneath roads, in line with the recommendations issued in the Walloon Region. It would comprise three conductors and a fibre-optic cable fitted in a secure trench, approximately 125 cm under the ground. The roads would then be restored to their original state.
The overhead line, which comprises 65 pylons covering 8 km, as well as the conductors and reinforcing chains running between the Ciply and Pâturages substations, will be taken down. The top of the pylon bases will also be levelled off.
Initially (four to seven years), this line would only be operated at 70 kV.
Changes in your municipality
- 2013: Elia launched a town-planning permit application process to renovate and shore up the current overhead line. During the advance public information meeting held in Frameries in June, an alternative supported by the municipal authorities emerged - laying an underground line.
2014: Elia launched a new town-planning permit application process to lay an underground line.
- 5 February 2015: Advance public information meeting held.
- February - September 2015: Environmental impact assessment conducted by SGS Belgium, an independent approved consultancy.
- October 2015: Permit application submitted.
- January 2016: Public consultations held in the municipalities concerned.
- March 2016: Application rejected by the official in charge. Elia submitted an appeal to the Minister.
The exact timetable for the works and the start of operations will depend on when the town-planning permit is granted.
Nevertheless, work should proceed as follows :
Installation of the underground line
The work on laying the underground line will be carried out in sections of 600 to 850 metres in length. Each section requires at most six weeks of work:
- Opening a trench (1 m wide, 1.45 m deep).
- Laying three cables surrounded by a protective sheath.
Refilling the trench.
Reconstructing existing infrastructure as it was.
Sometimes directed drilling will be carried out (under major roads and intersections or railways) instead of creating open trenches.
Junctions between the sections of cables will be needed every 600 to 850 metres. The width of the excavations will be larger here (up to 3 metres wide).
Finally, the site will be restored in order to return all affected areas to their original state.
Adjustment of the electricity substations
Minor technical adjustments will be made to the Ciply and Pâturages electricity substations so that they can be connected to the 150kV underground line. Cable terminals and surge arresters will also be installed.
Dismantling of the overhead line
The overhead line will be dismantled within five years of the town-planning permit being granted. The pylons, conductors and reinforcing chains will be dismantled, and the top of the pylon bases will be levelled off.
Communication is one of Elia's priorities, along with respecting the environment and securing the region's power supply.
In this spirit, we will keep you regularly informed and answer any questions you may have. Please don't hesitate to contact us because we strive for total transparency in our relations with both local authorities and residents!
Free phone number: 0800 18 002