Project in full swing
Since the end of 2022, the preparatory line works for the Brabo III project have been in full swing and will continue until mid-2025. "The Mercator high-voltage substation is undergoing significant expansion, which required us to reconfigure the existing 380 kV lines north of the substation over the past months," says Didier Janssens-Petit, Project Manager - High-Voltage Lines at Equans. "We replaced the existing conductors and followed a new route. We also erected four new masts, each 55 meters high." These are already impressive structures, but throughout the entire Brabo III project, Equans will build a total of 58 new masts, including some over 130 meters high.
Meanwhile, the teams from Equans' 'substations' department, specialized in onshore substations, are carrying out work at the Mercator high-voltage station itself. "We are expanding Mercator with five new 380 kV fields and a 380 kV cross-connection across three 380 kV rail systems. At the same time, we are making significant adjustments to achieve a better redistribution of power load on both sides of the station," explains Patrick De Bruyn, Section Manager - Substations. "We deliver and install the necessary lattice structures on which we place the newly supplied 380 kV high-voltage equipment. Additionally, we install a new third 380 kV rail system, spanning a total length of approximately 540 meters, divided into 27 fields of 380 kV. In various fields, we need to replace several high-voltage devices to accommodate a higher short-circuit capacity (63 kA). For all new high-voltage devices, we provide new high-voltage connections and renew the low-voltage cables. Furthermore, we equip two completely new buildings (relay rooms) with various security panels and a new distribution of power circuits (110V DC and 400/230V AC). One building has already been fully tested and commissioned, while the other will follow soon."