Aubange-Esch

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.


  • texteThe route

    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).


  • Background

    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 The second three-phase transmission line had already been built and was operational by the time the permit was revoked.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.


  • environnementEnvironment
    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.
  • Schedule
    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.

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