The Brabo project is part of work to upgrade the Belgian electricity grid and is necessary to safeguard supply to the whole of Belgium and in particular the Antwerp port area. One aim of the project is to increase import capacity from the Netherlands, with the following projects under way in Zandvliet and Doel:
- installing an additional phase-shifting transformer in Zandvliet on the border with the Netherlands;
- upgrading the existing 150-kV line between Zandvliet and Doel to a 380-kV line.
In addition, Elia plans to build a new 380-kV high-voltage line between the existing high-voltage substations in Zandvliet and Lillo and the Mercator high-voltage substation in the municipality of Kruibeke.
Building the new line will mean erecting new pylons and porches. After crossing the River Scheldt from Lillo, the line will be connected from Liefkenshoek on the left bank to the existing 150-kV line, which will be upgraded to 380 kV as far as the Mercator high-voltage substation (located in Kruibeke).
The latest news about the Brabo project can be found below.
Now that Elia's works on Scheldelaan and Kruisweg are nearly finished, work will begin in January on the Brabo II overhead 380-kV line. In this phase, Elia will renew and upgrade the existing 150-kV line along the A12 to a 380-kV line. The high-voltage line will cross the Scheldt from Lillo to Liefkenshoek.
To enable the line to span the Scheldt, Elia is erecting two new pylons 192 m tall on the banks of the river. This height is required because the high-voltage cables crossing over the Scheldt will have to span a distance of 1 km and Elia has to take account of line sag and a new directive stipulating a safety distance of 100 m for maritime traffic.
In mid-January, subcontractors Herbosch-Kiere and Eiffage Energie started preparatory work such as putting up road signs, building an access road, breaching the dyke and constructing a work and crane platform to enable work to be carried out from on the water. The assembly and construction of the pylons will begin in April 2018. These works will last about one year.
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 safety lighting, among other things. In 2020, Elia will join up both ends of the new 380-kV line spanning the river, linking both its banks.
Two additional disruption abatement measures in place since 1 September
As of 1 September 2017, two new disruption abatement measures are in place for the works on Scheldelaan (N101). The Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV) and Elia have created a temporary commuter car park south of the Evonik car park. This additional park-and-ride (P+R) facility includes parking guides and bicycle racks.
In addition, the central reservation of Scheldelaan (N101) between the Lillo complex (No.12) and the access road to Lillo village has been tarmacked. Public transport (vehicles under 3.5 tonnes) can use the central reservation in both directions as a bus lane. With this new measure, Elia, AWV, Voka Antwerp-Waasland and the Port Authority aim to encourage employees of companies based in the port to use public transport and bicycles.
The additional disruption abatement measures arose from the structural accessibility consultation with companies along Scheldelaan.
Structural consultation with companies pays off
Elia and AWV are holding a monthly accessibility consultation with companies along Scheldelaan, Voka Antwerp-Waasland and the Port Authority. These consultations are an opportunity to discuss access arrangements for the companies during the works and to jointly identify additional disruption abatement measures.
In recent months, a number of measures have been devised, including the adaptation of site signage and traffic lights to improve traffic management during rush hours, a simple accessibility sheet for lorry drivers who don't speak Dutch, and a cycle map showing all cycle paths and crossings around the work area. By answering the companies' questions and addressing their needs on a regular basis, the project partners are able to minimise the inconvenience for everyone concerned during the works.
Elia organises information session for Lillo residents
On 30 May 2017, Elia together with the Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV) held an information session for the residents of Lillo village. Residents were given more information about access to the village during the last phase of the works on Scheldelaan (N101), starting on 21 August 2017. During this phase, the village of Lillo will be accessible from the south via a newly tarmacked section of the central reservation on Scheldelaan (N101). Residents were also informed about the work being carried out by AWV on the R2 at the Lillo complex (No.12) in July and August 2017.