Presentation of a project status report
On 11 July 2018, Elia met the local authorities involved in the project aimed at renewing the HV connection between Auvelais and Gembloux. The aim of the meeting was to present a project status report.
Again, together with the municipalities, road infrastructure managers and a number of private landowners, Elia decided to assess the administrative and technical feasibility of an underground alternative to the planned renewal of the HV connection between Auvelais and Gembloux that would run alongside the Inovyn pipeline (Solvay). Elia will launch feasibility studies within the next few months.
Auvelais-Gembloux: municipalities organise meeting between Elia and local residents
On 23 March 2018, the authorities of the town of Gembloux held an information session where Elia and engineering firm CSD Ingénieurs met with the municipal authorities and representatives of local residents impacted by the Auvelais-Gembloux project. The meeting provided an opportunity to review the current status of the project and answer questions raised by local residents and the authorities on the basis of information currently available.
Read the full press release (in French)
Soil testing for Environmental Impact Study
As announced in November 2017, the consulting firm in charge of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) would like to examine some aspects in further detail. The aim is for Elia to have a realistic and complete analysis so that it can choose the solution that best meets the needs.
To this end, Elia needs to conduct soil tests in Mars to enable the consulting firm to identify and study the specific geological features of the areas affected by the project. For this reason, members of the project team will be on site and will contact those who own and/or use the land so that these surveys can be undertaken.
If you have any questions about the soil tests, please contact us on 0800 18 002 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elia meets representatives of local residents' advisory committee CoCoRiCo
At the request of the municipal authorities of Gembloux and Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre, on Monday, 3 July 2017 the Elia team working on the planned Auvelais-Gembloux connection met representatives of the local residents' advisory committee CoCoRiCo.
At the meeting, Elia was presented with alternative underground routes for the connection, drawn up by the committee's members. The meeting was both positive and constructive.
Elia pledges to submit these alternative proposals to the engineering consultancy working on Elia's project. These proposals will be added to the work done by the experts as part of the project's Environmental Impact Assessment. This work was presented to the local residents at the public information meeting held on 6 March 2017.
The consultancy, CSD Engineers, will thus be able to produce a full, credible and realistic analysis of the potential impact of Elia's project and its underground alternatives on the environment (in the broad sense of the term).
The consultancy's conclusions are still due to be submitted towards the end of the year and will be presented to the general public within the framework of the public consultation.
Auvelais-Gembloux connection: an overhead line is still the preferred design
Following a number of articles in today's press, Elia would like to reiterate that its preferred design for the connection is still the overhead line presented at the advance public information meetings in Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre on 6 March and Gembloux on 20 March.
Nevertheless, in response to the main request voiced by local residents at the information meetings held prior to the launch of the Environmental Impact Assessment (i.e. the feasibility of an underground connection), the consultancy CSD Engineers has asked Elia to provide it with the required information on this option so that it can perform its analysis. This is why Elia is currently working with highway and underground infrastructure managers to identify the best route for an underground connection.
The information obtained will enable CSD Engineers to provide a comprehensive, credible and realistic analysis of how the planned connection (and the underground alternative) could potentially impact the environment in the broadest sense (e.g. ground, air, water, climate, biological environment, landscape and heritage, urban and spatial planning, mobility, waste, health and safety, socio-economic aspects, noise, quality of life, residents).
The consultancy is expected to publish its findings towards the end of the year. The results and the project being considered by Elia will be presented to the municipal authorities and local residents. If necessary, Elia will then adapt its plans based on the comments received from each party before submitting the final version of the project for public consultation.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Following the meetings in March and the letters received in the course of the procedure, the design office has now begun its analysis.
As you will recall, the EIA is:
- an orientation tool for the applicant, enabling him to optimise his first draft;
a decision support tool for the authorities, so it must contain all the necessary information based on credible and realistic scenarios;
an information source for the general public.
Information, consultation, collaboration
Since the start of the project, Elia has sought to work totally transparently and in collaboration with the municipalities involved.
This was why on 12 May the Elia team (Dorien Jannis, Christophe Coq and Nathan Vervaeke) met up again with representatives from the municipalities of Gembloux and Jemeppe-sur-Sambre.
It was agreed that in order to take greater account of local residents' main demand and enable the design office to submit a full, credible and realistic analysis, over the next few weeks within the framework of the EIA, Elia and the municipal administrations would work together to set the route of an underground connection that could be studied as an alternative to the planned overhead line.
It was also agreed that a progress report on this work should be presented to the public within a few months. Likewise, at the respective muncipal councils' request, the design office will present the final conclusions of its assessment to the public. These conclusions are currently expected by the end of the year.
Advance public information meeting
The advance public information meeting for the Auvelais-Gembloux high-voltage overhead connection project was held at the Salle des Fêtes in Spy on 6 March 2017. At the meeting, residents of the affected municipalities were given a full presentation of the project. This was followed by a question-and-answer session.
From today 7 March 2017 until 21 March 2017, i.e. 15 calendar days, anyone can submit comments and suggestions about the project to Jemeppe-sur-Sambre municipal council with a copy to Elia, making sure to include their name and address.
All such comments and suggestions will be taken into account in the Environmental Impact Study carried out by independent engineering firm CSD Engineers.
Correspondence should be sent to
Administration communale de Jemeppe-sur-Sambre
Place communale, 20
With a copy to
Boulevard de l'Empereur 20
Once the permit application has been submitted to the relevant authorities, residents of the affected municipalities will be able to view the plans and the results of the Environmental Impact Study. The full file will be available at their municipal council offices. They will then have 30 days to submit their comments.
The dates and details of this procedure will be communicated in due course.
Elia will also hold additional information sessions for the municipalities concerned, if they so wish.
Réunion d’information préalable du public
En sa qualité de gestionnaire du réseau électrique belge à haute tension, Elia projette la construction d’une nouvelle liaison électrique (2x150kV) entre le pylône 6 à Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre et le poste de Gembloux. Celle-ci permettra la démolition partielle de la liaison électrique 1x70kV reliant actuellement les postes d’Auvelais (Sambreville) et de Gembloux (du pylône 7 au pylône 68N).
Selon la procédure légale en vigueur, Elia organise une Réunion d’Information Préalable au Public :
Le lundi 6 mars 2017 à 18H30
A la salle des Fêtes, rue de l’enseignement, 2 à 5190 Spy
Cette rencontre permettra à Elia de vous informer au mieux sur son avant-projet et vous donnera l’occasion d’émettre vos observations et suggestions.
Toute personne pourra également faire part de ses remarques, dans un délai de 15 jours, à dater du 6 mars.
elles-ci devront être adressées par écrit au :
- Collège communal de Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre (Place communale, 20 à 5190 Jemeppe-sur-Sambre)
Avec copie au :
- Demandeur (Elia Asset SA, à l’attention de Christophe Coq - Boulevard de l’Empereur, 20 à 1000 Bruxelles)
Pour être valables, les observations transmises doivent obligatoirement comporter le nom et l’adresse de l’expéditeur. Toutes les remarques seront prises en compte dans le cadre de l’Etude des Incidences sur l’Environnement réalisée par le bureau d’étude indépendant CSD Ingénieurs.
Pour vous informer au mieux, Elia met également à votre disposition un numéro vert et une adresse mail.
En collaboration avec la commune de Gembloux, une réunion complémentaire sera organisée le lundi 20 mars 2017 de 19h30 à 21h30 à la cafétéria du complexe sportif - Rue de la Maison d’Orbay, 5032 Corroy-Le-Château.
Elia tient à mener une communication proactive et transparente afin de rester à votre écoute tout au long de ses projets d’infrastructure.
By 2020, Elia plans to take down the 1x70kV power line between pylon 7 at Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre and the Gembloux substation and replace it with a new power line (2x150kV) between pylon 6 at Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre and the Gembloux substation.
The project affects the municipalities of Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre, Gembloux, Sambreville and Sombreffe.
The current connection is nearing the end of its life and will not be able to meet the region's future electricity needs.
Three needs identified
- Ensure the safety and security of people and infrastructure
- Enhance grid reliability
- Enable the energy transition
To meet these three challenges, Elia plans to:
- take down the existing line, which is no longer fit for purpose;
- build new infrastructure along an optimised route;
- increase the electrical capacity to enable the energy transition.
An investment for future generations
Elia plans to invest €10 million in this infrastructure project. This investment is included in the 2015-2025 Federal Development Plan and has been approved by the Minister of Energy.
Elia's investment policy must be made with due diligence: every euro spent must be authorised by the government(s) as part of a federal/regional plan and invested wisely.
This philosophy underpins the entire project.
Opportunity to optimise the route
Working with local partners, Elia has used the project as an opportunity to devise a route that avoids residential areas as much as possible.
A number of factors were considered:
- Limiting the length of the route
- Avoiding residential areas, rural residential areas and isolated dwellings
- Observing safety distances
- Minimising impacts on the environment and public
- Limiting inconvenience to farmers
Following a study and consultation with all its partners, Elia has come up with a route that avoids three residential areas (link to the route) :
- Neighbourhood in the municipality of Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre
Technology delivering ever safer infrastructure
Elia plans to erect lattice pylons in order to comply with the strictest standards currently in force and to meet the region's electricity needs.
These will be taller and wider than the current concrete poles and have a lifetime of around 100 years.
However, the strength of the new supports means that the number of pylons required will be almost halved.
The new route will therefore include just 36 pylons, compared with 69 currently.
In all its infrastructure projects, Elia is committed to complying with the most stringent standard in effect at the time of the line's construction.
||4 : Gembloux, Sombreffe, Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Sambreville
||3 : Gembloux ; Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Sambreville
||1 3-phase transmission line
||2 3-phase transmission lines
||approx. 25 m
||approx. 43 m
|Number of pylons
|Types of supports
||62 concrete pylons
+ 7 lattice pylons
|6 old lattice pylons
+ 30 new lattice pylons
Auvelais-Gembloux, an environmentally-friendly project
Investing in the future and enabling the energy transition
One of the aims of the project is to enable the energy transition over the long term.
We are currently in a period of major transition linked to irrevocable changes in the energy landscape. EU requirements on renewable energy generation (at least 20% of the country's needs to be met by renewable energy by 2020) are ambitious and will accelerate changes in our generation methods and their decentralisation.
The Belgian grid needs to be upgraded and adapted to meet these emerging challenges. With electricity no longer being generated only by a central player but by multiple generators, with facilities in sunny and windy locations, we have to be able to transmit that electricity to all parts of the country, as we do today.
Elia therefore plans to gradually increase the electrical capacity of the future connection from 1x70 kV to 2x150 kV.
Elia regularly works with external partners to examine opportunities for developing biodiversity in the areas crossed by its infrastructure.
The aim is to create projects that enhance the ecological network and improve the habitat for flora and fauna, sometimes in innovative ways.
A number of such projects are currently being examined:
- Landscaping the area around pylon bases to create habitats for plants and wildlife
- Transforming forest corridors beneath high-voltage lines into eco-corridors
- Bird markers
Bird markers are spirals fitted onto conductors to make the cables more visible to birds and so avoid collisions.
- Creating a denser ecological network (by planting hedges, trees, etc.)
- Installing nest boxes on pylon bases
Elia wants to include the Auvelais-Gembloux project in this drive to develop local biodiversity.