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.


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  • docDocuments


16 April 2024

Pulling of Mercator-Bruegel conductors well under way

The Mercator-Bruegel high-voltage line is currently being fitted with HTLS conductors as part of our grid backbone upgrade. These conductors, which can carry more electricity, are now being installed in the municipality of Buggenhout. Once this process is complete, work will continue in the direction of the Mercator high-voltage substation in Kruibeke via Bornem. These works are completely on track.

03 October 2023

New environmental permit for the Mercator-Bruegel project

On 15 June this year, an appeal by local residents prompted the Flemish Council for Permit Disputes (Raad voor Vergunningsbetwistingen) to quash the permit issued for the reinforcement of the Mercator-Bruegel high-voltage line. 


06 July 2023

Mercator-Bruegel works temporarily on hold between Buggenhout and Dilbeek 

Following an appeal by local residents against the reinforcement of the Mercator-Bruegel high-voltage line, the Flemish Council for Licence Disputes (Raad voor Vergunningsbetwistingen) decided on 15 June to put the permit for the project on hold

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