03 October 2023
Environmental permit awarded for Princess Elisabeth Island, a key link in our future energy supply
Construction of the Belgian energy island will start early next year. North Sea Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne has approved the relevant environmental permit.
A consortium comprising Belgian marine construction companies DEME and Jan De Nul has already started preparing the site where it will build the caissons (concrete foundations) in Vlissingen (North Sea Port). In the meantime, Elia is putting the final touches on a nature-inclusive design for the island that will be submitted later this year. Together with outside experts, the design was examined to determine which items could be adjusted or added with a view to boosting biodiversity on and around the island.
Princess Elisabeth Island will be an energy hub 45 km off the coast connecting new wind farms and additional interconnectors (to the UK and Denmark) to Belgium's onshore power grid. Obtaining the permit, which Elia applied for in January 2023, is a key condition for building the world's first artificial energy island in the North Sea. Construction will take around two years (March 2024 to August 2026).