New planning permit application procedure for the second three-phase transmission line on the 220-kV line between the substations of Aubange (Belgium) and Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg) on Belgian territory.
Helping guarantee security of supply while complying with applicable legislation
As Belgium's transmission system operator, Elia is required to build and operate a reliable grid, thus helping guarantee the country's security of supply, while complying with any and all legislation in force.
The Aubange-Esch line is key to allowing Belgium and Luxembourg to help one another in maintaining the electricity supply in both countries. Elia wants to work with the competent authorities to launch a new planning permit application procedure for the second three-phase transmission line (a circuit, i.e. a set of conductors and cables located on the same side of the pylons in this case) on the Aubange-Esch line in order to resolve the ongoing administrative stalemate.
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The 220-kV Aubange-Esch overhead line connects the high-voltage substations in Aubange (Belgium) and Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg). It was built and commissioned in 1971 and equipped with an additional three-phase transmission line (circuit) in 1998. The Belgian section of the line comprises 15 pylons and their accessories (e.g. insulators, conductors, earth wires) and runs for 5.3 km through the municipalities of Aubange (12 pylons) and Messancy (3 pylons).
The first three-phase transmission line (a circuit, i.e. three cables on the left side of the line heading towards Luxembourg) was built and commissioned in 1971. In 1998, Elia obtained a planning permit to install a second three-phase transmission line here.
Following an appeal, the Council of State revoked this permit in 2008, stating that the project's benefit to the public had not been sufficiently substantiated in the permit application at the time. The second three-phase transmission line had already been built and was operational by the time the permit was revoked.
In 2009, Elia submitted additional documentation to the competent authorities with a view to justifying the public utility of the project and thus resolving the stalemate. In accordance with the Walloon Code for Spatial, Urban and Heritage Planning (CWATUP) in force at the time, a public consultation was organised in the municipalities concerned in late 2009.
However, the competent authority has still not made a decision, and too much time has now elapsed. As such, Elia wishes to launch a new planning permit application procedure for this second three-phase transmission line. This procedure will include an environmental impact assessment of reasonable alternatives to the three-phase transmission line covered by the regularisation application.
It is also important to note that the pylons and the first three-phase transmission line (circuit) on the Aubange-Esch line built in 1971 are all in order from a legal point of view, and that the Aubange-Esch line as a whole is covered as required by a declaration of public utility and a road permit.
Once the new procedure begins, an external firm approved by the Walloon Region will assess the second three-phase transmission line's full impact on the environment.
Elia intends to launch the new planning permit application procedure in the coming months, if the public health situation allows. Preparations are under way in consultation with the competent local and regional authorities.
09 November 2023
Permit application submitted and public consultation launched
On 23 January 2023, together with accredited consulting firm, SGS, we presented local residents with the initial findings of the impact study carried out in preparation for our permit application.
07 July 2023
Next steps in the project
Following the presentation of the initial conclusions of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) on 23 January, the independent and approved consulting firm SGS has completed its study.
12 January 2023
Presentation of the conclusions of the study on 23 January
Following the Preliminary Information Meeting, the City of Aubange and Elia officially collected everyone’s feedback and suggestions for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), conducted by SGS, an approved and independent consulting firm. The complete Environmental Impact Assessment will be appended to the planning permit application. This application will soon be filed with the Public Service of Wallonia.
14 October 2021
Advancepublic information meeting on 16 November
Following the cancellation of the meeting originally scheduled for 27 October 2020 due to a spike in COVID cases, on 16 November 2021 Elia will hold the rescheduled advance public information meeting on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and the Natura 2000 appropriate assessment, as part of the regularisation application relating to the second three-phase transmission line of the 220-kV Aubange-Esch connection (Belgian part).
22 October 2020
Advance public information meeting postponed due to new coronavirus measures
07 October 2020
Advance public information meeting on 27 October 2020
On 27 October 2020, Elia will organise an advance public information meeting ahead of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) as part of the regularisation application relating to the second three-phase transmission line of the 220-kV Aubange-Esch connection (Belgian part).
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