The new Leoben connection will ensure supply security in the region and support increasing electrification of business and industry, for example for steel production. Thus the project will make an important contribution to the success of energy transition.
Essential for energy transitions: An additional grid supply point for the region
Demands on the power grid have increased greatly in recent decades, and demand will only continue to rise. Energy market forecasts calling for increasing electrification of the economy, industry and society clearly indicate the rising importance of having a sustainable, high-capacity electricity grid.
Electricity is becoming more and more important as a source of energy for industrial purposes above all. For example, voestalpine Stahl Donawitz GmbH plans to transition to clean steel production by 2026 by replacing the fossil fuels used in conventional steel production with renewable sources of energy. This will reduce CO2 emissions enormously and make a major contribution to the success of energy transition.
To meet future demand and maintain a high level of energy security in Austria, APG will be investing around 3.5?billion euros in upgrading the domestic electricity infrastructure by 2032. The new Leoben connection is part of the investment project.
Essential for energy security in the region
The existing Hessenberg substation is the main facility supplying Energienetze Steiermark?GmbH, the regional distribution system operator (DSO). APG’s planned new substation in Leoben will add another grid supply point for this DSO in the future. This will significantly improve security of supply in the region.
Crucial for the success of energy transition
The Austrian federal government has set ambitious targets for achieving energy transition. For example, the government intends for Austria to be carbon-neutral by 2040 and to cover 100% of its electricity consumption (national energy balance) from renewables by 2030.
A modern electricity infrastructure is needed to handle the growing development of renewable energy sources such as hydropower, wind energy and solar power in the region. In building the new Leoben substation with its line connection from the Hessenberg substation, APG is making an important contribution to the success of energy transition not only in this region, but in all of Austria.
Locally generated, sustainable energy can be fed into APG’s trans-regional network via the Leoben and Hessenberg substations and supplied for use Austria-wide. The same is true in reverse: sustainable electricity from other regions of Austria can be brought to the region via the two substations. The actions APG is taking will ensure that electricity from renewable sources can always be transported to wherever it is currently needed.?
Implementation of the project
Positive High Voltage Line Act (Starkstromwegegesetz, StWG) decision by the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility and Technology and the Styrian Government.
Negotiations according to StWG
Negotiations according to StWG (BMK & Styrian state government).
Submission according to StWG
The project was submitted to the competent authorities, the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and the Styrian state government according to StWG.
EIA determination notice
Decision of the Styrian state government, stating "no EIA obligation".
Submission of EIA application
The project was submitted to the Styrian stategovernment for determination of the EIA obligation.
Frequently asked questions - FAQ
The construction phase for the Leoben connection project is scheduled to run from 2023 to 2026.
The route corridor for the first section of the existing 220-kV line extending from the Hessenberg substation to Ternitz will be optimised to avoid populated areas. The first line section will be built as a four-system 220-kV line until Pylon 12, where the lines will split. From here, one two-system line will continue on to Ternitz and the other will run to the Leoben substation. The Leoben substation to be newly built will serve as an additional grid supply point for Energienetze Steiermark GmbH. It will also serve as a central grid connection point for voestalpine Stahl Donawitz GmbH.
- Conversion & extension of the Hessenberg substation by four 220 kV switchgear panels.
- Conversion of the existing line to a 4-system line from the Hessenberg substation to mast 12:
- Bending between the Hessenberg substation and mast 5 as well as mast 9 and mast 12
- Dismantling of the existing line between the Hessenberg substation and mast 5 as well as mast 9 and mast 12
- New construction of a 2-system 220 kV line from pylon 12 to the new Leoben substation
- New construction of the 220/110 kV substation Leoben
The project will affect two municipal areas:
- Town of Leoben (Stadtgemeinde)
- Market municipality of St. Peter-Freienstein (Marktgemeinde)
The project comprises 25 electricity pylons and the route corridor will be approximately 6.7 km long.
Yes, the project includes a total of two substations: the existing Hessenberg substation, which will undergo conversion work involving the addition of four 220-kv switchgear panels, and the 220/110-kV Leoben substation, which will be newly built as part of the project.
The existing Hessenberg substation is the main facility supplying Energienetze Steiermark GmbH, the regional distribution system operator (DSO). APG’s planned new substation in Leoben will add another grid supply point for this DSO in the future. This will significantly improve security of supply in the region.
A request by APG to the Styrian state government in August 2021 to determine whether the project was subject to an environmental impact assessment (EIA) revealed that the project was not subject to an EIA and thus does not require approval under the High Voltage Lines Act (Starkstromwegegesetz, StWG). At the end of June 2022, the project was submitted to the competent authorities as required by relevant Austrian state and federal law (the High Voltage Lines Act (StWG), the Nature Conservation Act, the Forestry Act, the Water Act, the Aviation Act and the Building Rights Act). The next steps will be decided by the authority in question.
Our power lines can impact properties in one of three ways:
- when an electricity pylon is erected on the property;
- when the property is traversed by overhead transmission lines (whereby only the land within the easement area through which the lines run is impacted); and
- when forest areas are cleared.
The compensation to be paid for appropriated land (including agricultural land and forested areas) will be stipulated in a framework agreement to be drafted in cooperation with the Styrian Chamber of Agriculture. The agreement will cover the calculation of the compensation amount stipulated in the private-law easement agreements to be entered into by mutual agreement with all property owners. It will also stipulate a number of general conditions relevant to the construction and operation of transmission line systems.
The framework agreement will apply equally to all land used for agricultural or forestry purposes, thus ensuring a uniform and equitable approach toward all. APG places great priority on equal treatment for all property owners.
In the case of land that is not designated for agricultural or forestry use, separate appraisals will be made to determine the compensation amount.