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EQUANS for Elia’s reinforcement works of Herentals-Heze

23 September 2021

In Herentals, Olen and Geel, in the province of Antwerp, our teams from the GRIDS division are in charge of laying new high-voltage (150kV) underground cables. The aim is to extend and reinforce the electricity grid to meet the growing energy demand in the region.

Over 11 kilometres of cables

The new underground cables extend between Herentals high-voltage substation and Heze substation in Geel, with an additional connection of one kilometre to the Umicore industrial site in Olen. The 11-kilometre-long circuit crosses the municipality of Olen and the towns of Herentals and Geel, in the province of Antwerp.

travaux route
travaux route

A carefully studied route

Each cabling route is studied in minute detail to reduce its impact on the environment as much as possible. This is always done in consultation with the public services concerned to avoid compromising existing installations and working on areas that are already being worked on or freshly renovated. Criteria such as a sufficient distance from housing and the directives on magnetic fields are also taken into account. For the Herentals-Olen-Geel section, the underground cables are almost exclusively laid in public areas (for example, under the streets).

GRIDS know-how

This project has been entrusted to us by Elia, which manages the electricity transmission grid in Belgium and with whom EQUANS regularly collaborates. It concerns the GRIDS department and more specifically, the Underground, Networks and C&C teams. In concrete terms, our teams are in charge of laying the high-voltage lines which takes place in several phases: digging trenches, drawing cables, creating handholes, directional drilling, backfilling trenches and finally resurfacing the roads. Our technicians are at work between March 2021 and June 2022 and according to the current schedule, everything is going as planned and even in advance on the calendar.

travaux route
travaux route

Improving the grid

Extending and reinforcing the electricity grid with new infrastructure is a necessity to meet the increased energy demand in the area. EQUANS supports Elia constantly in these various electricity grid improvement works whether they are underground or overhead. The Herentals-Heze project is therefore enabling Elia to continue guaranteeing the reliability of electricity supply for companies and citizens in this region.

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