Upgrading the existing overhead line between the Massenhoven and Van Eyck high-voltage substations.
Upgrading the backbone of the Belgian grid
The upgrade of the Massenhoven-Van Eyck high-voltage line is key to being able to better transmit more renewable energy via the Belgian grid. This project will also facilitate the import and export of electricity between Belgium and the Netherlands.
In the interest of societyElia's Massenhoven-Van Eyck project is intended to upgrade a key connection on Belgium's 380-kV grid. This voltage level forms the backbone of our grid and can quickly and efficiently transmit large quantities of electricity.
With flows generated by renewable energy sources throughout Belgium set to increase, this project will allow Elia to transmit and disseminate these flows faster and more effectively over its 380-kV grid. It will also facilitate the import and export of electricity between Belgium and the Netherlands, which is vital for Belgium's security of supply.
The existing overhead line between the Massenhoven and Van Eyck high-voltage substations is approximately 92 kilometres long and is located in the provinces of Antwerp and Limburg. Starting at the Massenhoven high-voltage substation (in Zandhoven), the line runs along the Albertkanaal to the Heze (in Geel) and Meerhout high-voltage substations, and then on to the Van Eyck high-voltage substation (in Kinrooi).
The line spans 15 municipalities in total, namely Zandhoven, Grobbendonk, Herentals, Olen, Geel, Laakdal, Meerhout, Ham, Balen, Hechtel-Eksel, Oudsbergen, Peer, Bocholt, Bree and Kinrooi.
EnvironmentElia takes a number of measures to minimise the impact of the work on local residents and the environment:
- Elia restores the site to its original state once work is complete.
- Elia prefers to set up work depots in existing industrial zones or paved areas to limit disruption for the environment and nature.
- Elia promises local residents that they will always be able to access their homes.
- Work is not performed during the night, so no depots or sites are lit up at that time.
- Site traffic uses the shortest, safest and most accessible routes.
- Elia uses gantries when removing or pulling cables close to railways, roads or other key infrastructure with a view to minimising the impact on the surrounding area.
- If normal traffic has to be diverted, the diversions will be agreed with the road authority (the municipality or the Flemish Region) and clearly communicated to local residents.
ScheduleElia's work will comprise two phases:
Phase 1: From the start of 2021, Elia is replacing the current 380kV cable set between the high-voltage substations of Meerhout and Van Eyck with a new cable set with HTLS conductors. A second 380kV cable set with HTLS conductors will then be added to the overhead line. These works were completed by the end of 2022.
Phase 2: As of the start of 2023, Elia will strengthen the existing overhead line between the high-voltage substations of Massenhoven and Meerhout. Today this overhead line consists of a 150kV cable set and a 380kV cable set. The conductors that are currently installed there will be replaced by new 380kV HTLS conductors. These works will be completed in early 2026.
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