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The Brussels-Scheldt Maritime Canal, at the Zemst lock.

Replacement of pumps of a pumping installation in Zemst

On the Brussels-Scheldt Maritime Canal, at the Zemst lock, there is a pumping installation responsible for managing the water in the canal. Already in 2016, the control system of this pumping installation was modernised. However, after 50 years of service, this pumping installation had to be renovated.

Inland navigation is an important source of prosperity in Flanders because it offers a safe, economical and ecological alternative to congested road transport. Rivers and canals also contribute to the attractiveness and quality of life in Flanders. The Vlaamse Waterweg (Flemish Waterways Agency) is therefore doing everything possible to encourage inland waterway transport and limit flood damage.

For some time now, the pumping system consisting of 5 HV pumps has not been able to achieve the desired efficiency. A renovation was therefore necessary. The Vlaamse Waterweg agency therefore called in Agidens as a design and automation specialist for the study, execution, commissioning and maintenance of replacements for the old HT pumps.
Agidens took care of the search for and purchase of a new pump and its drive according to well-defined criteria and taking into account the flow rates and capacities of the pumps that were still operational.

Replacement of one of the four pumps

The company, which specialises in mechanical and industrial engineering, called on KSB Belgium for this purpose. KSB Belgium was asked to supply the pumps needed for the replacement and commissioning of the pumps. Four pumps manufactured in 1976 by a competitor were replaced by four new KSB type 1500 pumps. 

  • 1 500 means that the shaft diameter is 1 500 mm. 
  • Each of these pumps delivers 18,000 m³/h at a delivery head of 10 m and an efficiency of 86.1 %.
  • The motor is manufactured by a WEG partner company and delivers 670 kW at 6,000V and runs at 696 rpm.

An important point to know is that the pump unit has an established group efficiency of 82 %, which is 5 % higher than the old installation.

In addition, the order for the first two pumps was received in February 2017. The commissioning of the last and fourth pump was completed in December 2020.

The pumping installation with the new pumps