Xylem Pump Technology to Increase Connectivity between Northern and Southern Europe
Xylem, a leading global water technology company, has designed a special state-of-the-art water pumping station that will expand the Lanaye Locks in Belgium, increasing connectivity between Northern and Southern Europe. The new Flygt pumps and turbines will harness energy from excess water in the Albert Canal, while an additional fourth lock will quadruple the lock system’s convoy.
Because the three existing locks have recently proven too narrow to accommodate small convoy, Xylem was commissioned by the project consortium, BESIX Sanotec-Balteau, to develop a solution that addresses the challenges associated with seasonal water level changes. The solution includes five Flygt 500 kilowatt (kW) submersible hydroturbines with a flow of 18 cubic meters per second (m³/s).
High water levels in Northern Europe require the water in the canal to be directed towards the Netherlands. The new project strives to recover some of the lost energy associated with the process. The Flygt turbines are able to harness energy to ensure minimal losses, while the generated energy is able to flow into the electrical network.
Patrick Delperdange, Senior Operations Manager at BESIX Civil Works, says, “The construction of the fourth Lanaye lock is one of the largest civil engineering projects of the decade in Wallonia. The works required the on-site production of over 220,000 cubic meters of concrete, mainly made of the gravels extracted from the river Meuse. The concrete was reinforced with 15,000 tons of steel and required 200,000 square meters of formwork. BESIX finished this ambitious project within the agreed timeframe, while also coordinating the electromechanical works, among them the realization of the hydroelectric power and pumping plant.”
Adrien Theunissen, Senior Manager BESIX Sanotec adds, “Thanks to the engineering capabilities of BESIX Sanotec, CMI Balteau, and Xylem, we could propose an alternative to the original scheme which was very attractive for the client. This resulted in enhanced efficiency and a reduction in construction and maintenance costs. The synergy between the partners contributed to a fruitful cooperation at all stages of the project.”