Brabo ll

Upgrading the high-voltage grid and improving security of supply at the Port of Antwerp and in Belgium.

Vital for a secure, sustainable electricity supply

At a local level, Elia’s Brabo project will increase the grid’s supply capacity, enabling it to cope with growing electricity consumption in the Port of Antwerp. At a national and international level, the project will upgrade Belgium’s north-south axis and bolster Europe’s network of international interconnections. This will improve international trade opportunities and reduce reliance on Belgian generating facilities.

  • texteIn the interest of society

    The Brabo project will shore up Belgium’s electricity grid at a local, national and international level:

    • Growth of the Port of Antwerp: the last major investments in the high-voltage grid in and around the Port of Antwerp were made in the 1970s.
    • Increasing the grid’s capacity will enable it to respond to the rise in electricity consumption that has resulted from the port’s growth.
    • A stronger Belgian high-voltage grid with a higher import capacity: once the Brabo project is complete, Elia will be able to import more electricity from the Netherlands to the Belgian high-voltage grid. Under ideal conditions, it will be possible to import up to 20% more electricity than at present.
  • texteThe route

    The project consists of three phases:

    • Brabo I: the Doel-Zandvliet connection and Zandvliet substation
      The upgrade of the second high-voltage line between Doel and Zandvliet is complete and the line returned to service on 25 October 2018. The additional phase-shifting transformers at Zandvliet were commissioned in November 2015 and June 2016.
    • Brabo II: the Zandvliet-Lillo-Liefkenshoek connection
      The existing 150 kV high-voltage line is being upgraded to a 380 kV line on the right bank of the River Scheldt, namely in the Antwerp district of Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo and the municipality of Stabroek. The 380 kV line will follow the current route along the A12 motorway between the high-voltage substations at Zandvliet (close to BASF) and Lillo (close to the Liefkenshoek tunnel). A new 380 kV high-voltage line will cross the River Scheldt to Beveren on the left bank, where it will be connected to an existing 380 kV line (Doel-Mercator).

      View our interactive map of the Brabo II project here:

    • Brabo III: the Liefkenshoek – Mercator connection
      From Liefkenshoek (Beveren), the existing 150 kV line will be modernised and upgraded to 380 kV. The line runs over a distance of 19 km to Kruibeke, via the Kallo high-voltage substation.

  • environnementEnvironment

    Impact of various alternatives examined
    The first step in the permit process for the 380 kV high-voltage line was the production of a plan Environmental Impact Report (plan EIR), which examined, discussed and assessed the environmental impact of the plan before work began.

    Basic route used as point of departure
    When producing the report, Elia identified a basic route to act as the point of departure for the connection between Zandvliet and Liefkenshoek. This route begins at the Zandvliet high-voltage substation, runs across BASF’s premises, crosses the Zandvliet and Berendrecht lock complex then continues alongside the Europa Terminal towards Scheldelaan. It then runs along Scheldelaan through the premises of Monsanto, Oiltanking Stolthaven, the Provincial Port Centre and Evonik NV, after which it connects to the Lillo high-voltage substation at the R2 slip road before crossing the River Scheldt towards Liefkenshoek.

    Eight alternatives examined
    Elia worked out eight alternatives to this basic route. Following a preliminary selection, five of the eight alternative routes were examined to gauge their environmental impact. None scored better than alternative route 8bis.

    • Alternative route 1: This route would deviate somewhat from the basic route near the existing Lillo-Solvay high-voltage line. It would lie to the west of the existing line and be closer to Lillo. It would run alongside Fort Lillo. The rural beauty of the village of Lillo was a major cause for concern here.
    • Alternative route 2: This route would involve building a new 380 kV line on the far side of Scheldelaan, where the current 150 kV line runs between Solvay and the Lillo high-voltage substation.
    • Alternative route 5: This route would involve laying the new high-voltage line underground near the Berendrecht and Zandvliet lock complex.
    • Alternative route 6: The EIR Service asked Elia to research an alternative route due to concern over the high-voltage line potentially interfering with the radar systems and navigation equipment used by vessels negotiating the Zandvliet and Berendrecht lock complex. Alternative route 6 would involve the line crossing the Berendrecht and Zandvliet lock complex at a more easterly point than the basic route.
    • Alternative route 8: Like alternative route 8bis, alternative route 8 would involve modernising the existing 150 kV infrastructure along the A12 and upgrading it to 380 kV. However, unlike alternative route 8bis, alternative route 8 would not deviate from the existing route in the built-up area.
    • Alternative route 8bis better for the environment
      When all the different options were assessed, route 8bis scored better than the basic route and the other alternatives. Like alternative route 8, alternative route 8bis is mostly located outside the port area. With this route, the existing overhead 150 kV high-voltage line east of the A12 will be repurposed and the existing line moved to another location underground. The route deviates from the existing line where it crosses populated areas, shifting more to the west towards the A12. Compared to the current situation, fewer homes will have to be crossed.

    The plan EIR – in which the various routes are assessed – can be found at it is listed in the project database under the reference number PL0128.
  • Schedule

    Brabo I: 2015-2016

    • Installation of new phase-shifting transformers in Zandvliet
      Elia rolled out the first part of the Brabo project in 2015 and 2016. An additional phase-shifting transformer was installed in Zandvliet in 2015, with commissioning taking place in November that year. A further transformer was commissioned at the same location in June 2016.
    • Upgrade of the Doel-Zandvliet high-voltage line to 380 kV
      Throughout this period, Elia also worked on renewing and upgrading the second high-voltage line between Doel and Zandvliet. The voltage level was raised to 380 kV. This work was completed in October 2016. 

    Brabo II: 2017-2021

    • Two cables between Lillo and Oorderen
      From March 2017 to February 2018, Elia laid two 150 kV cables between the Lillo and Oorderen high-voltage substations via Kruisweg, the R2 and Frans Tijsmanstunnel.
    • Two cables between Lillo and Zandvliet running under Scheldelaan
      From March 2017 to spring 2019, Elia is laying two 150 kV cables under Scheldelaan (N101) between the Zandvliet and Lillo high-voltage substations. These new underground cables are set to replace the two existing 150 kV high-voltage lines that run along the A12 and will subsequently be upgraded to 380 kV by Elia.
    • New Lillo – Liefkenshoek high-voltage line
      From January 2018 to December 2019, Elia will build a new 380 kV line between the Lillo and Liefkenshoek high-voltage substations. Elia will erect a pylon on both the left and right banks of the Scheldt so that the high-voltage line can span the river.
    • Modernisation and upgrade of the Zandvliet-Lillo high-voltage line
      From January 2018 to late 2021, Elia will modernise the 150 kV high-voltage line running between Zandvliet and Lillo along the A12 and will upgrade it to 380 kV.
    • 150 kV cable between Ketenisse and Liefkenshoek (Doel connection)
      From August 2018 to January 2019, Elia will lay a new 150 kV cable between the high-voltage substation in Ketenisse and the P18N pylon in Liefkenshoek.

    Brabo III: provisional start scheduled for 2023

    • Modernisation and upgrade of the Liefkenshoek-Kruibeke high-voltage line
      According to the current schedule, from 2023 onwards Elia will modernise the existing 150 kV high-voltage line between Liefkenshoek in Beveren and the Mercator high-voltage substation in Kruibeke and upgrade it to a 380 kV connection.
  • docDocuments


16 December 2020

380-kV loop around the port of Antwerp enters service

On 27 November 2020, Elia commissioned the upgraded 380-kV high-voltage line along the A12 between Zandvliet and Lillo. An existing overhead line was upgraded from 150 kV to 380 kV, with 46 pylons replaced one-for-one and new electric wires laid over 16 kilometres.

24 August 2020

Commissioning of Scheldt crossing and upgraded Lillo high-voltage substation

As part of the Brabo II project, a branch line has been constructed on the existing 380-kV overhead line between Doel and the Mercator high-voltage substation in Kruibeke. This branch connects the Lillo high-voltage substation with the existing Doel-Mercator overhead line.

Contact us

If you are affected by a project and want to ask us something, please feel free to contact us.
Our team would be happy to help.

This website uses cookies to provide you with an optimal browsing experience. Some cookies are strictly necessary for the operation of this website and cannot be rejected, while others are used for analytical/functional/targeting purposes and can be rejected. For more information, please consult ourCookie Policy . You can manage/change your cookie preferences at any time. If you do not manage your preferences, only the cookies which are strictly necessary will be accepted.