Continuity of supply


An unexpected interruption in the supply of gas or electricity could have direct consequences on the health and wellbeing of individuals, on the security of industrial installations, on the continuity of public services, and even on the country’s economic performance.


The Federal Planning Office estimates that a one-hour blackout occurring in Belgium on a week day, at a moment when every company is active, would result in «a total economic damage of some 120 million euro for the country»


EDF Luminus contributes to the country’s supply security in multiple ways; customer flexibility is promoted, while natural gas-fed plants, which are very flexible, play a key role in the production/consumption balance.

Offers for companies

EDF Luminus offers its customers a range of solutions that contribute to supply continuity, either directly for the customer, or in its role of «balance management»

  • A flexibility offer that enables clients with scalable consumption, flexible production capacity (greenhouses heated by cogeneration, for example) or energy stocking capacity (freezers) to adapt their production/consumption depending on the market price.
  • A solution forrenovating/replacing outdated high-tension cabinets, which represent a risk for the customer’s electricity feed.

Services provided to the high-voltage transmission grid operator

EDF Luminus provides several types of service to Elia, the high-voltage transmission grid operator, which contribute to the network balance and the supply security of the country:

  • a real-time “balance management” function;
  • a response to tenders for the supply, in real time or in the very short-term, of primary and secondary control power and tertiary reserves;
  • a guarantee to provide strategic reserves in the winter months.


Elia pilot project for flexible, decentralised units: very successful three-month test at a Luminus customer site

EDF Luminus participated in the pilot project “R2 non-CIPU*” launched by Elia to test flexible, decentralised energy sources, in order to find out to what extent these will be capable of automatically responding to the balancing needs of the Belgian zone.


A system installed on the cogeneration unit of EDF Luminus customer Groupe François, enabled the automatic reduction of the electricity feed from 4 to 2 MW on the Belgian grid, in case of overload. The balancing test lasted three months, from 15 June 2017 to 30 September 2017. Throughout the test, EDF Luminus was responsible for responding to the signals sent every 10 seconds by Elia, by adapting the quantity of electricity sent to the national grid.


The test results were very satisfactory and encouraging for the future development of this new product. Throughout the test, the cogeneration unit was able to respond to the signals and send high-quality electricity at any moment.


*Contract for the Injection of Production Units

Sint Trudo hospital: renovation of the power supply unit

For 20 years, the Sint Trudo hospital in Sint Truiden has been equipped with a 1500 kVA dynamic UPS (uninterrupted power supply) system to protect the hospital from micro-power cuts and to ensure an uninterrupted electricity feed.

The dynamic UPS system that provides uninterrupted power supply to the Sint-Trudo hospital was thoroughly renovated in 2017 by Vanparijs Engineers.


As the system was reaching its end-of-life, Vanparijs Engineers developed a new concept in close collaboration with the hospital and manufacturer Hitec Power Protection. This collaboration enabled a solution that renovated the old system – a choice that was less costly and used fewer raw materials. The renovation work on the system took place in May and June 2017. During this time, the mobile UPS unit belonging to Vanparijs was mobilised to ensure that hospital operations were not affected.


The renovated unit is equipped with the most up-to-date technologies, in particular an induction coupling that is adapted for flexible power production. A black-start module has also been installed.

Seraing plant successfully passed unannounced test on 14 February 2017

On 14 February 2017, the high-voltage transmission grid operator Elia gave EDF Luminus the order to start up the Seraing gas and steam combined cycle plant, as part of a surprise test.


The signal arrived at 8:00. The technical teams at the Seraing plant, comprising around 30 people, immediately began the start-up procedure, with the plant reaching 264 MW by 14:30 and nearly 480 MW by 15:00. Elia declared the test a success.


Each winter since 1 November 2014, the CCGT plant at Seraing has been part of the strategic reserve. The plant is equipped with a black-start device that enables start-up without any external power feed, and the progressive provision of power to grid users in the event of a black-out.


Certain data are used to measure the performance and contribution of the company to the supply security:

  • two units are available to Elia within the context of black-start contracts (start-up of the unit without external power supply). These include the combined cycle of Seraing and the two open cycles at Gand-Ham, whose diesel restart engines are tested each month. Elia requested a black-start test at Gand-Ham for 29 July 2017, which received a positive evaluation.
  • During the winter 2016-2017, only the Seraing plant was included in the strategic reserve. It underwent several start-up tests, which were all positive. All of the surprise start-up tests requested by Elia in 2017 were highly successful.
  • Other thermal plants enabled a high success rate at the service system auctions. The upgraded combined cycle plant at Ringvaart (see page 48 of the 2016 sustainable development report) proved its competitiveness by winning the majority of the weekly auctions for primary and secondary reserves (R1/R2). For the tertiary reserve auction markets, open cycles were very often selected.

  Strategic reserve: Successful surprise tests 1/1                  
  Strategic reserve: Successful planned tests  5/5  

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