The Brabo project is part of work to upgrade the Belgian electricity grid and is necessary to safeguard supply to the whole of Belgium and in particular the Antwerp port area. One aim of the project is to increase import capacity from the Netherlands, with the following projects under way in Zandvliet and Doel:
- installing an additional phase-shifting transformer in Zandvliet on the border with the Netherlands;
- upgrading the existing 150-kV line between Zandvliet and Doel to a 380-kV line.
In addition, Elia plans to build a new 380-kV high-voltage line between the existing high-voltage substations in Zandvliet and Lillo and the Mercator high-voltage substation in the municipality of Kruibeke.
Building the new line will mean erecting new pylons and porches. After crossing the River Scheldt from Lillo, the line will be connected from Liefkenshoek on the left bank to the existing 150-kV line, which will be upgraded to 380 kV as far as the Mercator high-voltage substation (located in Kruibeke).
The latest news about the Brabo project can be found below.
Information evening on 21 June
This summer, Elia will start work on upgrading the existing 150kV high-voltage line between Zandvliet and Lillo. To inform local residents about the work this will involve, Elia will hold an information session on Thursday, 21 June 2018. Anyone can visit the information session at any time between 17:00 and 20:00 at the Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo District House (Antwerpsebaan 140, 2040 Berendrecht).
At the event, Elia's representatives will provide more information about the purpose, timeframe and nature of the works themselves and the inconvenience they might cause. The project's managers will be on hand throughout to answer any questions.
Interactive map Brabo II
Have a look at the Brabo II route via the interactive map.
380kV line between Zandvliet, Lillo and Liefkenshoek
Between January and April, subcontractors Herbosch-Kiere & Eiffage Energie carried out preparatory work in and along the River Scheldt. On each bank of the river, Elia is building a new pylon to connect the high-voltage substation at Lillo with Liefkenshoek. Between May and July, the contractor will complete the work on the foundations before going on to assemble and erect the pylons and put up the new conductors.
In addition, the contractor, Franki, has already started digging the foundations of the P1A and P1B pylons on the right bank of the river and the P4A, P4B, P5 and P15N pylons on its left bank.
150kV cables in Scheldelaan
Under the planned work schedule, Elia was due to complete its work on laying two 150kV cables in Scheldelaan by the end of spring 2018. However, during the cables' test phase problems were encountered in the junction box pits, where the two sections of cable are attached to each other. In the light of these problems, Elia decided to redo all the cables' junction boxes.
Now that Elia's works on Scheldelaan and Kruisweg are nearly finished, work will begin in January on the Brabo II overhead 380-kV line. In this phase, Elia will renew and upgrade the existing 150-kV line along the A12 to a 380-kV line. The high-voltage line will cross the Scheldt from Lillo to Liefkenshoek.
To enable the line to span the Scheldt, Elia is erecting two new pylons 192 m tall on the banks of the river. This height is required because the high-voltage cables crossing over the Scheldt will have to span a distance of 1 km and Elia has to take account of line sag and a new directive stipulating a safety distance of 100 m for maritime traffic.
In mid-January, subcontractors Herbosch-Kiere and Eiffage Energie started preparatory work such as putting up road signs, building an access road, breaching the dyke and constructing a work and crane platform to enable work to be carried out from on the water. The assembly and construction of the pylons will begin in April 2018. These works will last about one year.
In the spring of 2019, the lines connecting both banks of the Scheldt will be put in place and the pylons will be finished off, including the installation of safety lighting, among other things. In 2020, Elia will join up both ends of the new 380-kV line spanning the river, linking both its banks.
Two additional disruption abatement measures in place since 1 September
As of 1 September 2017, two new disruption abatement measures are in place for the works on Scheldelaan (N101). The Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV) and Elia have created a temporary commuter car park south of the Evonik car park. This additional park-and-ride (P+R) facility includes parking guides and bicycle racks.
In addition, the central reservation of Scheldelaan (N101) between the Lillo complex (No.12) and the access road to Lillo village has been tarmacked. Public transport (vehicles under 3.5 tonnes) can use the central reservation in both directions as a bus lane. With this new measure, Elia, AWV, Voka Antwerp-Waasland and the Port Authority aim to encourage employees of companies based in the port to use public transport and bicycles.
The additional disruption abatement measures arose from the structural accessibility consultation with companies along Scheldelaan.
Structural consultation with companies pays off
Elia and AWV are holding a monthly accessibility consultation with companies along Scheldelaan, Voka Antwerp-Waasland and the Port Authority. These consultations are an opportunity to discuss access arrangements for the companies during the works and to jointly identify additional disruption abatement measures.
In recent months, a number of measures have been devised, including the adaptation of site signage and traffic lights to improve traffic management during rush hours, a simple accessibility sheet for lorry drivers who don't speak Dutch, and a cycle map showing all cycle paths and crossings around the work area. By answering the companies' questions and addressing their needs on a regular basis, the project partners are able to minimise the inconvenience for everyone concerned during the works.
Elia organises information session for Lillo residents
On 30 May 2017, Elia together with the Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV) held an information session for the residents of Lillo village. Residents were given more information about access to the village during the last phase of the works on Scheldelaan (N101), starting on 21 August 2017. During this phase, the village of Lillo will be accessible from the south via a newly tarmacked section of the central reservation on Scheldelaan (N101). Residents were also informed about the work being carried out by AWV on the R2 at the Lillo complex (No.12) in July and August 2017.