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EQOS Energie shows old power masts how to fly

12. juni 2024
  • EQOS Energie teams deploy helicopters to remove more than 50 kilometres of power lines from Salzburg’s high mountain area
  • Dismantling of 220-kV lines after commissioning of the 380-kV Salzburg line
  • Rough terrain, avalanches and falling rocks pose particular challenges

Removing more than 50 kilometres of high-voltage and extra-high-voltage lines, including the associated masts and fittings, is no small feat in itself, but it becomes an even more challenging task when the cables wind their way through high alpine terrain at lofty heights. EQOS Energie will be facing this challenge over the next two years in the area between Hochkönig and Kaprun in the Austrian province of Salzburg. Following the commissioning of the new 380-kV Salzburg line, the old 220-kV lines will be dismantled – and EQOS Energie has won the tender for the dismantling in this high alpine area (Hagengebirge mountains). The EQOS Energie team is reaching deep into its bag of technology tricks by using helicopters, innovative dismantling tools and environmentally friendly solution approaches.

“Thanks to our extensive expertise paired with the deployment of experienced and highly motivated teams, this project on behalf of APG also enables us to contribute to the success of the energy transformation,” said Thomas Reichel, Managing Director at EQOS Energie and in charge of the EUR 25 million contract.

The new Salzburg line is elementary for the realisation of climate targets in Austria. This is because it will ensure that surplus wind power from eastern Austria can be transported to the pumped-storage power plants in the west. It will also create the necessary capacity for the increasing electrification of businesses, industry, and tourism in the province of Salzburg and Austria.

Renaturalisation after dismantling

First, however, thousands of metres of conductor and ground cables as well as 191 masts on the route from Hochkönig through Hinterthal via Maria Alm, Mayerhofen and Zell am See to the Kaprun substation have to be “plucked” from nature in the most environmentally friendly way possible. At about 80 per cent of the locations, the steel masts are flown out in instalments by helicopters after they have been cut into two or more pieces (depending on their weight) with cutters by members of the 20 to 40-strong EQOS Energie teams. Once the foundations have been removed, the abandoned areas are renaturalised, and in some cases protective structures or avalanche deflectors also have to be dismantled and disposed of.

“Some locations in the area of the Hagengebirge mountains are so inaccessible that a helicopter is just about the only access option. In these cases, we will remove the cables using a special technique that allows us to unthread the entire length of the wires over eight masts in a circle and dispose of them at a single location,” said Gerald Adelsgruber, Profit Center Manager Austria/Germany South-East at EQOS Energie, describing one of the special characteristics of this project. As falling rocks or avalanches must also be expected in this particularly steep route section, the work there is even being supervised by a special avalanche commission.


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contact opnemen met onze persdienst:
Michelle Fiege
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Heike Carmen Flory
T +49 2336 4279-210


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