Transmission operator Elia has commissioned the 47km high-voltage Stevin line connecting the Zeebrugge and Zomergem areas of Belgium to an energy hub in the North Sea.

The line is intended to transport energy generated by new offshore windfarms to the mainland, as well as be an interconnector to exchange electricity with the UK via the Nemo Link project from 2019.

With a double 380kV connection, the line guarantees improved electricity supply in West and East Flanders, particularly for the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium.

The Stevin project features three new high-voltage substations including the Stevin substation in Zeebrugge, Gezelle in Bruges, and Van Maerlant in Vivenkapelle, along with overhead lines and cables.

“The line guarantees improved electricity supply in West and East Flanders, particularly for the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium.”

It also features 80 new steel pylons, which are spread over a 47km area, and 10km of underground lines.

Developed with an investment of €340m, the Stevin line is capable of transmitting up to 3GW of energy, which is equal to the power produced by three major nuclear power plants.

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Elia CEO Chris Peeters said: “As a result of the Stevin project, we are forging the missing link between the mainland and the coast, with an energy hub in the North Sea.”

The company plans to begin Phase II of the project by demolishing 53km of old lines in Bruges, Damme, Maldegem, and Eeklo.