Post Mercator

Mercator, an important link in the Belgian high voltage grid

Omexom - Mercator @ VINCI Energies BelgiumProject Mercator 380kV is an important link as part of Elia’s large-scale Brabo project. This Brabo project provides for a reinforcement of the high-voltage network in Belgium and more specifically in the Port of Antwerp region. Among other things, existing 150kV overhead lines will be upgraded to 380kV. This reinforcement and modernisation of the 380kV high-voltage network in the region involves far-reaching changes for the high-voltage stations. The biggest adjustments are in the Mercator station, where the upgraded 380kV lines, as well as the existing feed lines from the Doel nuclear power plant, arrive.

In the Mercator high-voltage station, three completely new entries are to be built, along with a new coupling field that can connect and disconnect the incoming and outgoing lines in the 380kV network. The creation and construction of the new line entries are part of the enhancement of the capacity of the high-voltage station. In addition to the new elements in this station, in the next few years a great deal of renovation work is planned that will contribute towards the general modernisation of Elia’s 380kV network.

Omexom - Mercator @ VINCI Energies BelgiumOmexom is the contractor for the electrical work in the Mercator project. Omexom’s scope in this project is very varied and challenging, given the huge scale of the project. Work began in 2016 with the construction of four 380kV rail separators and the preparatory work on the coupling is also set to start. In the spring of 2017, two new line entries and the coupling will be completed, with the coupling and the Doel and Horta line entries scheduled to come into service in May 2017.

The work to be performed by Omexom comprises the supply and installation of all steel support structures and the installation of all 380kV appliances, as well as the connection of the high-voltage cables and internal links to 380kV. The low-voltage section is also being largely modernised. Here Omexom is to supply, fit and connect all necessary low-voltage cables and links and offer Elia assistance during their test procedures, before the equipment can be taken into service.

From 2017, new network elements will be systematically renewed and in 2018 the upgraded 380kV from Lillo will be brought into the Mercator high-voltage station. The work is scheduled to be completed in full by the end of 2023.

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