Brugge - Sijsele

June 2019

Elia submits permit application for work on high-voltage cable between Bruges and Sijsele

Elia is set to replace the old HV cable between Bruges and Sijsele with a new double 36-kV underground cable connection. With work on the project expected to begin in March 2020, Elia has applied for a permit to the Flemish Government. A public consultation process is currently under way as part of this permit application procedure. The plans and documents connected with the application will be on view in Damme and Bruges over the next few weeks:

  • In Damme: from 13 June to 12 July 2019 at the Municipal Environment and Planning Department, Administrative Centre, Moerkerke, Visserstraat 2A, 8340 Damme.
  • In Bruges: from 19 June to 18 July 2019 at the Municipal Environment, Safety and Planning Department, Huis van de Bruggeling, Frank Van Ackerpromenade 2, 8000 Bruges.

This public consultation gives citizens a chance to share their comments, concerns and views regarding the application. For more information about the public consultation, contact your municipal council.

To find out more about the Bruges-Sijsele project, see

June 2018

In dialogue with local residents at an information session

On 4 June 2018, Elia organised an information session for residents of Bruges and Damme. At the event, Elia employees engaged in dialogue with the locals about the planned works, nuisance limitation measures and the project's timeframe. Around 30 people showed their interest by coming along.

Click on the 'Planning' tab for more information about the ongoing project. To see a detailed map of the route, click on the 'The project' tab.

May 2018

Elia organises information session on the Brugge-Sijsele project 

To ensure that local residents are as well informed as possible, Elia is inviting them to the information session on the Bruges-Sijsele project. Residents are free to attend the session at ’t Couvent in Bruges at any time between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday 4 June.

During this event Elia will reflect on the purpose of the work and schedule of the project. Residents will also have the opportunity to put their questions to the project managers.

The project 

From March 2020 onwards, Elia System Operator will work on replacing the current 36-kV cable connection between Bruges and Sijsele with a new double 36-kV underground connection with a view to continuing to guarantee the security of supply. The existing 36-kV supply cables from Eeklo and Bruges were manufactured in 1937 and have reached the end of their service life. The new double 36-kV underground cable connection will be laid between Bruges and Sijsele and is approximately eight kilometres long. Sijsele is currently supplied by two separate cables from Eeklo and Bruges. The new 36-kV underground cable is a double connection that will consequently replace the two separate cables.

Existing 36-kV connection replaced by new, shorter connection

In the future:

  • Sijsele will be supplied with electricity via a new double 36-kV underground cable connection between Bruges and Sijsele.
  • The old cables will be taken out of service.
    • The existing 36-kV cable connection between Bruges Waggelwater and Sijsele
    • The existing 36-kV cable connection between Sijsele and Eeklo Pokmoer

Laying this eight-kilometre-long double cable connection will reduce the scale of the work required (and the associated disruption) by 31 kilometres.




  1. Spring 2018: Detailed study of the cable route
  2. June 2018: Start of permit process, presentation of project to local residents at information session
  3. Spring 2019: Preparations begin
  4. March 2020: Work starts


The work comprises six phases


Phase 1 – Consultation

Elia consults local authorities and services on potential routes for connections.

Phase 2 - Preparatory studies

A detailed study determines the exact location of the cable. Existing (and planned) utility lines are charted and all potential obstacles along the route are analysed. Preliminary surveys are performed (trial trenches, drilling samples of the subsoil, topographical measurements and archaeological surveys).

Phase 3 - Digging of the trenches

The underground cable connection comprises two circuits of three physical cables. The trench is approximately 1 metre wide and 1.05 metres deep, while the cable sections are between 500 and 800 metres long. It takes two months to complete each section. Work may require more space than the connections themselves, which consequently also impacts mobility. A worksite ideally measures five to six metres.

Phase 4 – Directional drilling

Elia performs directional drilling when working at major intersections (such as motorways, railways and canals). A worksite is required in order to set up the drilling machine.

Phase 5 – Pulling cables in different types of trench, filling the trench

A cable reel is used to pull cables over a distance of around one kilometre. Connection boxes along the route limit electrical losses. The cables are laid in a special type of sand in order to control the temperature. Protective plates displaying the Elia logo and a lightning bolt are placed above the cables. Warning tape and markers provide extra visual warnings. The trench is filled in and the site restored to its original state.

Phase 6 – Pre- and post-work topographical survey

Before work begins, Elia contacts those using the land on the cable's route. Arrangements are made in writing at this time, and topographical surveys are conducted regarding the state of the land, the type of vegetation, and so on. Elia keeps land users up to date, both during and after the work. Elia will pay compensation for damage caused. This compensation is based on a memorandum of understanding concluded with farming organisations.


Elia takes a range of measures to minimise the impact of work on local residents and mobility.

  • Site signs inform residents about the start and end date of the work and any possible diversions.
  • When diversions are required for normal traffic, this is arranged with the road authority and clearly communicated to residents and others affected.
  • If necessary, Elia agrees on specific routes with the municipal authorities and local police to spread out and limit site traffic as much as possible.
  • As work is being performed in sections of 500 to 800 metres, disruption is limited both with regard to time and scale, and local residents are guaranteed access to their home.
  • Elia informs residents and businesses about the schedule and subsequent phases of the project via emails and up-to-date information on the website. You can sign up to this mailing list by emailing

Elia always organises its sites with an eye on the safety of employees and local residents and on an uninterrupted electricity supply.


If you would like more information, please call 0800 11 089 or email