SPIE Belgium has carried out the installation of high voltage stations for Elia, the high voltage electricity transmission system operator in Belgium, under its Steven programme. It aims in particular to route the energy generated by windfarms in the North Sea inland.
The installation of 3 high voltage stations (Horta near Ghent, Geszelle and Van Maerlant near Bruges) had to tackle numerous challenges. 14 kilometres of cables had to be drawn all the way to the Elia control room; the 380 kV overhead lines are introduced in the installation through gantries that weigh 84 tons and are 27 metres high; then there is a gas pipe nearby and confined space for the unpackaging, pre-assembling and final assembling of each installation.
Up to 30 SPIE staff have been mobilized in the field; during the entire duration of the works, they made safety an absolute priority despite the difficult conditions: high voltage, work at heights, heavy loads to be lifted…
The management of waste on the worksite was also a daily priority. To limit the ecological impact, no fewer than 140 tons of packaging wood were recycled.
This is a unique project, not only because of its scope, but also because it is the first time that high voltage stations of such power were built in Belgium. In spite of a tight schedule and numerous technical constraints, SPIE staff were able to overcome these challenges in an efficient and proactive manner, supported by the relations of trust and confidence established and cultivated over many years with Elia.