April 2019

Elia starts laying double 150-kV cable between Rijkevorsel and Beerse

In late March, Elia started laying the double 150-kV cable between Rijkevorsel and Beerse. This connection is needed to integrate the increased levels of decentralised energy generation from wind turbines and hydroelectric power plants into the grid.

The first stage of the work began in Rijkevorsel, where Elia is currently laying the cable between the high-voltage substation – located in Langstraat – and Looi. Later this month, Elia will also begin work in Eksterheide, Vaartstraat and Busselen.


September 2018

Elia obtains environmental permit for Rijkevorsel-Beerse project

On 24 September 2018, Elia obtained an environmental permit from the Flemish government for the Rijkevorsel-Beerse project. The project involves laying a new 150-kV underground cable between Rijkevorsel and Beerse.

In late 2018, Elia will begin preparations for drilling under the Eksterheide. Local residents and interested parties can find out information about the progress of the works on the project page and via letters to local residents (if applicable).

If you have any questions about the project, please send an e-mail to omwonenden@elia.be or call us on 0800 11 089 (during office hours).

June 2018

Around 100 people attended the information sessions in Rijkevorsel and Beerse

On two consecutive Mondays, 4 and 11 June, Elia organised information sessions on the new cable connection between Rijkevorsel and Beerse. At both sessions, the project team explained why the work was necessary and what impact it would have, presented the planned schedule and answered visitors' questions. Around a hundred local residents showed up.

For more information about the project, please click on 'The project' tab. If you have any questions, please call the toll-free number 0800 11 089 or send an e-mail to omwonenden@elia.be.


May 2018

Elia organises two information sessions in Rijkevorsel and Beerse

Elia is organising two information sessions for local residents on the laying of two new 150-kV underground cables between the Rijkevorsel and Beerse high-voltage substations. Residents can attend one of the two sessions at any time between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the following dates and at the following locations:

  • On 4 June 2018 in Rijkevorsel
    Raadzaal gemeentehuis
    Molenstraat 5
    2310 Rijkevorsel
  • On 11 June 2018 in Beerse
    GC ’t Heilaar
    Heilaarstraat 35
    2340 Beerse  

During these events Elia talks about the purpose, schedule, implementation and potential disruptions of the work. Project managers are always on hand to answer any questions.

April 2018

New 150-kV cables between Rijkevorsel and Beerse

Elia is preparing to lay two new 150-kV cables between the Rijkevorsel and Beerse high-voltage substations. To make this project a reality, Elia submitted an environmental permit application to Ruimte Vlaanderen in late April 2018. Elia expects to receive this permit in September 2018, after which work can begin.

The project

The Rijkevorsel-Beerse project involves laying an underground cable connection comprising two 150-kV cables between the high-voltage substation in Rijkevorsel and the one in Beerse. The cable connection will span around nine kilometres in total.

If preparations go according to plan, Elia will begin laying these cables in late 2018. Work is expected to last one year, with completion slated for late 2019.


The benefit of the project

There are two reasons why two new 150-kV underground cables need to be laid between the Rijkevorsel and Beerse high-voltage substations:

  1. Increased levels of decentralised energy generation
    Decentralised energy generation means that energy is generated from renewable sources. In Noorderkempen, CHP from glasshouse horticulture is the main source of renewable energy and this form of decentralised energy generation has expanded considerably in the area over the past few years. In order to connect these generation facilitiesto and transmit this energy over the high-voltage grid, Elia needs to shore up the grid.
  2. Guaranteeing the area's security of supply
    Elia must shore up the high-voltage grid in Noorderkempen in order to support the area’s security of supply.    

Detailed map





Laying a 150-kV underground cable

The new underground connection comprises six cables in total. Two separate circuits, each consisting of three cables, will be laid in the same trench. This process encompasses the following six phases:


Consultation with municipalities

Elia consults the municipalities involved and makes arrangements with local authorities and services.


The field survey analyses the location of existing utility lines, potential obstacles along the route, and other archaeological factors. This detailes study determines the exact location of the underground cables. A topographical survey is performed. Elia arranges the signage needed and potential diversion routes.

Digging of trenches

Elia begins digging the trenches in which cables will subsequently be laid. The trenches are approximately 1 metre wide and 1.05 metres deep. It takes two months to compete each cable section (around one kilometre). 


Directional drilling

Elia carries out directional drilling at intersections, waterways and railways. Elia also digs trenches, each of which is two metres wide and equipped with drainage pumps to keep it dry. Elia’s trenches are always around one kilometre long.


Cable pulling through the trenches

A cable reel is used to lay the cables in the trench over a distance of around one kilometre. The cables are laid in a special type of sand in order to control the temperature and are covered with protective plates.


Restoration of the site

Elia restores the site to its original state once work is complete.

Features of laying the 2x150-kV underground connection

The new 2x150-kV cable between Rijkevorsel and Beerse comprises two circuits, each of which consists of three cables. Each cable section is approximately one kilometre long and takes six to seven weeks to install. Laying the 2x150-kV Rijkevorsel-Beerse cable is estimated to take one year.

  • Type A trench
    A type A trench is the most common type of trench used when laying high-voltage cables. It is an open trench in which the cables are laid next to one another.


  • Directional drilling
    Directional drilling is a trenchless drilling technique predominantly used to cut across busy intersections, waterways and nature reserves. Elia uses this technique to lay the cable connection underneath the Eksterheide nature reserve without disturbing the surrounding area.   


Elia always takes the environment into account in its work. The high-voltage system operator takes a range of measures intended to minimise disruption and impact on the environment.

  • Work only takes place during the day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Once work is complete, the land is always restored to its original state.
  • Elia guarantees that local residents will always be able to access their home on foot.
  • In the event of specific, temporarily increased disruption for residents, Elia or its subcontractor(s) will always let the affected parties know individually via a letter.
  • When diversions are required for normal traffic, this is arranged with the road authority and clearly communicated to residents.


If you have any questions, or would like more information, please call the free hotline on 0800 11 089 or send an e-mail to omwonenden@elia.be.