Reinforcement of the existing overhead line (380kV) between the Mercator and Bruegel high-voltage substations.

Reinforcing the north-south axis of the Belgian electricity

Elia plans to upgrade the existing high-voltage line (380kV) between the Mercator substation in Kruibeke and the Bruegel substation in Dilbeek. This is needed to better distribute and transmit the increase in electricity flows. As a result, the electricity supply for the entire country will be secured in the future.

  • texteIn the interest of society

    The Mercator-Bruegel project is necessary for two reasons:

    1. Reinforcing the north-south axis of the Belgian electricity grid
    Elia is upgrading the north-south axis of the Belgian electricity network. This north-south axis forms part of the backbone of the electricity grid needed to transmit electricity across the country. This voltage level (380kV) allows large amounts of electricity to be transmitted quickly and efficiently.

    2. Better organization and distribution of electricity flows
    More and more renewable energy sources are being connected to the electricity grid across the country. This leads to an increase in internal electricity flows (fluxes) through Belgium. This project is needed to better distribute and transmit these electricity flows via the 380kV grid.

  • texteThe route
    The existing overhead line between the Mercator high-voltage substation in Kruibeke and Bruegel in Dilbeek is approximately 32 kilometres long. The route runs from the Mercator high-voltage substation in Kruibeke, located to the south of Haasdonk Fort, via the Scheldt (Temse and Bornem) and continues south towards Buggenhout, Merchtem and Dilbeek. The overhead line crosses 3 provinces and spans 9 municipalities, namely Kruibeke, Temse, Bornem, Puurs-Sint-Amands, Buggenhout, Londerzeel, Merchtem, Asse and Dilbeek.
  • environnementEnvironment

    Elia takes a number of measures to minimize 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 minimizing 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.
  • Schedule
    • Studies: from early 2020 up to and including early 2021
    • Permits: from the beginning of 2021 through to the end of 2021
    • Works:  from the beginning of 2022 through to the end of 2026
  • docInteractive map

    Follow the works per pylon

    Click on this map to find out where and when we are working. For each pylon, you will find the type of work, the planning and the contractor.


    Go to

  • docDocuments


18 July 2022

Work at high altitude in Temse and Bornem

Elia is currently replacing the mast arms of two existing high-voltage pylons in Temse and Bornem. This is taking place at a height of 130 metres. The work is part of the upgrade of the existing high-voltage line (380kV) between Kruibeke and Dilbeek and is necessary for the energy transition. The work will take about two weeks. Follow the works on the high-voltage line and pylons via the interactive map.

25 May 2022

Follow the works on an interactive map

You can follow the work on this map.

20 April 2022

Start of reinforcement of high-voltage line between Kruibeke and Dilbeek

The Flemish Government has granted the permit for Elia’s ‘Mercator-Bruegel’ project. This project involves Elia reinforcing the existing high-voltage line between high-voltage substations ‘Mercator’ in Kruibeke and ‘Bruegel’ in Dilbeek. The high-voltage line is being equipped with a new type of electricity cable that can transport more electricity. The completion of the work is planned for the end of 2026.

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Our team would be happy to help.

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