Last week, preparatory work on the new high-voltage line spanning the River Scheldt in the Port of Antwerp began. The work in question is part of phase II of the Brabo project, which Elia is implementing to upgrade the high-voltage grid in and around the Port of Antwerp and shore up Belgium's security of supply. To enable the line to span the Scheldt, Elia will have to erect two new pylons 192 m high on the banks of the river, these will be the highest power pylons in the Benelux. The work will be completed by mid-2019.

The Brabo project comprises a number of sub-projects that Elia will carry out between 2015 and 2020. The line across the River Scheldt is intended to renew and upgrade the Zandvliet-Lillo-Liefkenshoek connection, known as Brabo II. In this phase, the existing 150-kV line along the A12 motorway will be renewed and upgraded to a 380-kV line. At Lillo, the connection will cross the Scheldt to Liefkenshoek.

High pylons needed to ensure the safe passage of shipping "Elia's high-voltage cables over the Scheldt will have to span a distance of 1 km. The extent of that distance is one reason why the pylons need to be 192 m high. Elia also has to respect a statutory clearance height of 100 m above the highest level of the River Scheldt", explains Stefaan Vanden Berghe, who is managing the programme for Elia.


Work will last until mid-2019 


Last week subcontractors Herbosch-Kiere & Eiffage Energie started building the access roads. Over the coming two months, the preparatory work will continue, breaching the dyke and constructing a work and crane platform on the River Scheldt, to enable work to be carried out from on the water.

The on-site assembly and construction of the pylons will start this spring. In the spring of 2019, the lines connecting both banks of the Scheldt will be put in place and the pylons will be finished off, including the installation of lighting, among other things. In 2020, Elia will connect the new 380kV line spanning the river, linking both its banks.


A new information session for local residents and businesses


Elia will organise a new information session for businesses and local residents when construction work starts in the spring. In May 2017, the residents of Lillo were already given a presentation on the planned Scheldt crossing. The work performed will not impact mobility in the vicinity of the site.


Brabo project essential for our energy supply


This extension of the high-voltage grid in and around Antwerp is key to guaranteeing the future supply of electricity, both to Belgium in general and to the Port of Antwerp region in particular. The Brabo project will also play an important role in upgrading Belgium's interconnection with the Dutch power grid. Cross-border interconnections pave the way for international electricity trading and thus help to keep prices competitive.

For full information on the Brabo project, see www.elia.be/brabo. In annex you will also find a visual simulation of the line spanning the River Scheldt and a schematic map of the Brabo project.