Upgrading the existing 380 kV high-voltage line between the Avelgem and Avelin high-voltage substations.
Meeting the future needs of the electricity grid
The Avelgem-Avelin line is a 380 kV overhead high-voltage connection dating from the 1970s. It runs from Avelgem to the Belgian-French border near Avelin, covering a distance of 23 kilometres. Elia is upgrading the existing high-voltage line with a view to meeting the future needs of the electricity grid. Between 2018 and late 2022, Elia will replace the conductors of the existing high-voltage line, strengthen the pylons and their foundations, and modify the switchgear in the Avelgem high-voltage substation.
In the interest of society
The conductors need to be replaced and upgraded for three reasons:
Higher import capacity for better security of supply
Upgrading the Horta-Avelgem line will make it possible to import more electricity from abroad, enhancing security of supply in Belgium and in Europe as a whole.
Energy trading throughout Europe
Elia’s investments should be viewed with the wider European context in mind. Europe is asking its Member States to invest in sufficient transmission capacity to and from other countries. This will improve international trade opportunities and make the energy price more competitive. The Horta-Avelgem high-voltage connection has an important role to play in fulfilling this international obligation.
Integration of renewables
The line’s increased capacity will enable the integration into the grid of the renewable energy generated by new generation units like offshore wind farms
The Avelgem-Avelin line extends from Avelgem to the Belgian-French border near Avelin, covering a distance of 23 kilometres. It runs through the provinces of East Flanders, West Flanders and Hainaut and crosses seven municipalities: Avelgem, Kluisbergen, Mont-de-l’Enclus, Celles, Pecq, Estaimpuis and Tournai.
Elia is taking a number of measures to minimise the work’s impact on local residents and the environment:
- Elia will restore the land to its original state once work is complete.
- Elia will use a quiet technology to strengthen the pylon foundations.
- Where possible, Elia will set up work depots in existing industrial zones or paved areas to limit disruption for the environment and nature.
- Elia guarantees that local residents will always be able to access their homes.
- Work will not be carried out at night, so no depots or sites will be lit up then.
- Farmers who suffer damage as a result of the work will be compensated accordingly, as per the protocol between Elia and the agricultural organisations.
- Site traffic will use the shortest, safest and most accessible routes.
- 2017-2018: Application submitted for environmental permit.
- 2018: Work to modify Avelgem high-voltage substation.
- Autumn 2018-2021: Strengthening of pylons and foundations.
- 2020-2022: Replacement of conductors.
Letter to local residents - June 2017 (in French)
PPT présentation Avelgem-Avelin - June 2017 (in French)
Video: Avelgem-Avelin (in French)
Letter to local residents - November 2017 (in French)
Press release - 5/2/2018 (in French)
Press release - 23/10/2018 (in French)
19 December 2022
Completion of the Avelgem-Avelin project
On 4 November, the interconnection was successfully re-energized!
France and Belgium can now exchange up to 6 GW.
28 July 2021
Work begins on conductors
Our teams have successfully completed the work on the pylons and foundations.
If you are affected by a project and want to ask us something, please feel free to contact us.
Our team would be happy to help.