Upgrading the current 380 kV high-voltage line between the Horta high-voltage substation in Zomergem and the high-voltage substation in Avelgem.

Meeting the future needs of the electricity grid

The Horta-Avelgem line is a 380 kV overhead high-voltage connection dating from the 1970s. Elia is upgrading the existing high-voltage line with a view to meeting the future needs of the electricity grid. Between 2018 and late 2021, 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.

  • texteIn the interest of society

    The conductors need to be replaced and upgraded for three reasons:

    1.  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.

    2.  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 with a view to improving the operation of the international market and making the energy price more competitive. The Horta-Avelgem high-voltage connection has an important role to play in fulfilling this international obligation.

    3.  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.

  • texteThe route


    The line extends from Zomergem (Horta high-voltage substation) to Avelgem, covering a distance of 40 kilometres. It runs through the provinces of East and West Flanders and crosses seven municipalities: Zomergem, Deinze, Zulte, Kruishoutem, Wortegem-Petegem, Anzegem and Avelgem.

  • environnementEnvironment

    Elia is taking a number of measures to minimise the impact of the work on local residents and the local area:

    • 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.
    • If normal traffic has to be diverted, the diversions will be agreed with the road authority (the municipality or the Flemish Region) and clearly communicated to local residents.
  • Schedule
    • 2017: EIR notice, public consultation and handling by EIR Service.
    • 2017-2018: Application submitted for environmental permit.
    • 2018: Work to modify Avelgem high-voltage substation.
    • Autumn 2018-2021: Strengthening of pylons and foundations.
    • 2020-2021: Replacement of conductors.


  • docDocuments



25 June 2020

Resumption of work

On 15 June, Elia started work to replace the electric wires on the Horta-Avelgem high-voltage line (380 kV). This is taking place in accordance with the measures announced to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

01 September 2019

Horta-Avelgem: news item

The photo below captures a highly complex operation in a single image. Along the E17 in Kruisem, electricity wires are being transferred from the smaller temporary pylon (hidden behind the large pylon) to the new permanent pylon (the large structure in the foreground).

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