Omexom dismantles a 70-year-old pylon by helicopter in the province of Liege

Belgium / Expertise / Overhead transmission lines / Transmission

As part of the rehabilitation of existing sites, Omexom in Belgium was awarded a contract by Elia in July, to dismantle a high-voltage pylon dating from 1951 using a helicopter. This type of intervention is usually carried out from the ground using a crane, but the location of the pylon in question near the Carmeuse quarry did not allow for this configuration. The intervention of a helicopter and Omexom teams was therefore requested. This operation was carried out efficiently, with safety always a priority.

Elia therefore called on the Omexom teams in Belgium, assisted by French teams, to dismantle this 70-year-old pylon.

Rehabilitation of existing sites

As part of the work being carried out on Belgian transport infrastructure, the 6km line linking Rimière to Les Awirs, located in the province of Liège, is to be dismantled.

While most pylons can be dismantled by crane, one of them, due to its cramped location on the edge of a cliff in the heart of the Carmeuse quarry, was dismantled by helicopter through AIRTELIS.

“This line dates from 1951. It has reached the end of its life. After evaluating its usefulness, it was decided to dismantle it.”

Catherine Wojcicka

Spokesperson for Elia

Heliportation, an exceptional operation

The 60-metre high tower weighs about 20 tonnes and is therefore too heavy for the maximum load the helicopter can carry, which is 4 tonnes. To carry out the mission safely, the teams had to cut the tower into six pieces. The top part was unbolted but a system of hooks was used to hold the two parts together. Once the teams are on the ground, they pull on a long rope that releases the hook. The helicopter can then take the topmost piece away, while the teams stand at a safe distance. The operation is repeated 6 times.

To evacuate the various parts of the pylon, the path taken by the helicopter avoided flying over the houses by skirting the edges of the quarry. A removal area was set up on land far from the site.


Thanks to the expertise of the Omexom teams, the operation was carried out in complete safety.