Tracé Ventilus: the Flemish government will decide ‘in the coming weeks’

Tracé Ventilus: the Flemish government will decide ‘in the coming weeks’

“Scheduling the coming weeks”

This means that, after nitrogen, the government will once again have a difficult dossier to choose from. In November last year, the Flemish government supported an above-ground route for the new Ventilus high-voltage line. Five possible routes were then examined. An environmental impact report and a social cost-benefit analysis were carried out for this purpose. According to Demir, the investigations have been completed and she wants to put the file on the agenda in the coming weeks.

What about compensatory measures? No further actions yet

The minister is behind the feathers of the federal government to work out the compensatory measures. “We are going for broader compensation. This was discussed on February 25 at the Consultation Committee. The federal colleagues recognize the importance of the file. They have taken note of our request, but no further concrete actions have been taken to date,” said she. At the same time as the decision on the preferred route, a framework for the radiation standards will be established.

What if Wallonia does go underground?

Opposition party Vlaamsbelang continues to put the option of going underground emphatically on the table. “Federal Minister Van der Straeten says that Ventilus will not be needed until 2031 at the earliest to transport power from the wind farms to land,” the party says. Elia is also planning another new high-voltage line in Wallonia: Boucle du Hainaut. The Walloon high-voltage line would only be needed later for the next two wind farms. “Van der Straeten’s statement completely changes the starting point of the debate,” said Flemish Representative Carmen Ryheul from Kortrijk. “It would also mean that the Walloon government could still opt for an underground route, a few months or years after the realization of Ventilus in West Flanders.”

Ryheul therefore asked Minister Demir to review the decision for an above-ground Ventilus line. “If experts say that it can be done underground by 2030 and Ventilus should only be commissioned by 2031, there is no reason not to opt for the underground alternative,” concludes the Flemish Member of Parliament. “How is this government going to get it explained to the West Flemish if a few months or years later in Wallonia, an underground solution is chosen?”