Half of Limburg's communities could get disconnected from the electricity grid in the event of a power shortage. That's what mayors are being told by the governor of the province. Mainly Northern Limburg and the Maas area will be affected.
Governor Herman Reynders called the mayors to his offcie yesterday. Presently after nuclear reactor Doel 4 has also been shut down the chance of a power failure has increased during a cold winter. The governor himself didn't want to inform the press. The people present at this meeting were also told to handle this information discretely, although many of the mayors did not agree with this. In Antwerp they have received clear information, one of them said.
A map was briefly shown to the mayors with some indication of who will get disconnected and who won't, but the communities were not identified by name what made it difficult. Some mayors didn't get it whether they will get disconnected or not. "we will be notified 7 days in advance", says Marino Keulen, Open VLD (party) mayor of Lanaken. "At an acute crisis that's a day in advance. We could get disconnected for a period of 4 hours and that's usually in the early evening."
The map which was shown to the mayors is from 2012, the regulatory framework which determines who will be cut-off goes back to a ministerial decision from 2005. "How this classification was done is not clear to us. That doesn't make sense", says Marino Keulen. A story that we hear also from other mayors. Elia (http://www.elia.be/en) said earlier that mainly that rural communities should be switched off, but the largest part of Southern Limburg will get off the hook. "Thus the choice for Northern Limburg and the Maas area", Jos Claessens, mayor of Bocholt asks himself.
Elia communicated once before that the disconnection would happen per station, hence it's not clear if a whole community would be out of power. Meeuwen-Gruitrode should be only partially without electricity:Plokroy and Wijshagen should be able to retain power.
"We are very astonished", says mayor Jan Dalemans of Hechtel-Eksel. "That we could still be catapulted back to stone age in 2014" "The military base of Kleine-Brogel has a lot of generators. Maybe a cooperation with the defense (dept) is possible, if disaster strikes", says the mayor of Peer Steven Matheï
"Voeren is obviously on the list of the disconnected Municipalities, but we could certainly get our power from Wallonia", says mayor Huub Broers.
"In September surely there will be a new 'disconnection map' for Limburg", Kristof Pirard mayor of Heers knows.