Horta - Avelgem


September 2018

Elia secures an environmental permit for Horta-Avelgem

Last week, Elia secured an environmental permit from the Flemish Government for the Horta-Avelgem project. The permit is for the upgrade of the existing 380 kV high-voltage line between the Horta high-voltage substation in Zomergem and the substation in Avelgem.

What does the work involve?

During the first stage of the project, Elia will strengthen the existing pylons and their foundations and make adjustments to the Avelgem high-voltage substation. Elia will notify local residents as soon as the exact timeframe for the work is known.

You can keep up with the latest progress on the project by signing up to Elia’s dedicated digital newsletter. If you want to receive the newsletter, send an email to omwonenden@elia.be with the message "sign up for Horta-Avelgem newsletter”. Your details will then be added to the mailing list.

May 2018

Elia submits permit application

Elia has submitted a permit application for the Horta-Avelgem project. As part of this process, a public consultation will be held between 19 May and 18 June 2018, meaning that the plans and documents connected to the application will be available to view in the towns and municipalities involved, namely Zomergem, Nevele, Deinze, Zulte, Kruishoutem, Wortegem-Petegem, Anzegem and Avelgem. This gives citizens the opportunity to share their comments about the project by sending them in writing to the mayor and aldermen of their town or place of residence.

Elia plans to start work in the autumn, when it will strengthen the pylons and foundations.

December 2017

Elia establishes dialogue with local residents

From late 2018 onwards, Elia intends to work on the existing high-voltage line between the Horta high-voltage substation in Zomergem and the Avelin substation in France. This work has been split into two subprojects: Horta-Avelgem and Avelgem-Avelin. To inform local residents about the project in the nine Flemish municipalities involved, Elia organised information sessions in Avelgem and Deinze on Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 November 2017. Elia has created a time lapse of these events (click here to view).

There was an information exhibit where visitors were given more information about the purpose, schedule and approach of the project, as well as a photo report of similar works. Elia employees were on hand to answer residents' questions. David Van Gindertaelen, a project manager at Elia, looks back at the event with satisfaction: “The people were pleasantly surprised that they were provided with such extensive information. It was also nice for us to establish contact with residents so we know what is going on in our working environment."

From 2018 onwards, Elia will keep you informed of the progress of both projects via a digital newsletter. If you want to receive the newsletter, send an email to omwonenden@elia.be with the message "sign up for Horta-Avelgem newsletter”. Your details will then be added to the mailing list.

November 2017

On 14 and 16 November 2017, Elia is holding two information sessions about the Horta-Avelgem and Avelgem-Avelin projects. At every information session Elia informs those living in the Flemish municipalities covered by the project about the coming works. All residents are sent an invitation in the post, but everyone is welcome to attend either session between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

  • Tuesday 14 November 2017
    Information session in Avelgem
    OC Kerkhove, Oudenaardsesteenweg 589, 8580 Avelgem
  • Thursday 16 November 2017
    Information session in Deinze
    Jeugdcentrum Brieljant, Mouterijdreef 20, 9800 Deinze

During these events Elia reflects on the purpose of the work and the approach and schedule of the project. You can also contact the project managers with your questions.

October 2017

Elia submits project EIA

As part of the project EIA, Elia investigated all possible effects on the landscape, nature, people and the environment. This is a key step in acquiring the necessary permits.

The four main conclusions of the assessment are listed below:

  • No contamination of the groundwater
  • Limited noise pollution during work
  • Respect for fauna and flora during temporary commissioning
  • No change in soil quality

February 2017

The public consultation process (project EIA) concerning work on the route between the Horta (in Zomergem) and Avelgem high-voltage substations will begin in March 2017. A project EIA studies any possible impact on the landscape, nature, people and the environment. During the public consultation, local residents and other interested parties can make comments and voice concerns about the project. These are then incorporated into the project EIA.

The notification document on the assessment is currently available to consult from the municipalities within the project area. You can also find the notification document online on the website of the Flemish government service responsible for EIAs.

The project


The Horta-Avelgem line is an overhead 380-kV high-voltage connection constructed in the 1970s. The 40-km-long line runs from Zomergem (Horta high-voltage substation) to Avelgem. It covers the provinces of East and West Flanders and crosses eight municipalities (Zomergem, Nevele, Deinze, Zulte, Kruishoutem, Wortegem-Petegem, Anzegem and Avelgem).

From 2018 up to and including 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. Elia will provide you with a more detailed schedule of the work as the start date gets closer.



Elia plans to carry out three types of work on the Horta-Avelgem route.

  • Replace conductors
    The conventional conductors will be replaced with more efficient ones with a higher transmission capacity, meaning that they can further transmit energy generated offshore and can shore up our connections with our neighbouring countries.
  • Strengthen pylons and foundations
    When conductors are replaced, the force applied to the pylons may increase (e.g. due to the wind or the conductors being tightened). As such, Elia first strengthens the pylons and foundations of this line. Three pylons on this route will be completely demolished and replaced by new ones.
  • Modify Avelgem high-voltage substation
    The replacement of the conductors means that the switchgear at Avelgem high-voltage substation also needs to be modified.


Elia takes a number of measures to minimise the impact of the work on local residents and the environment:

  • Elia restores the site to its original state once work is complete.
  • Elia strengthens pylon foundations using a quiet technology.
  • Elia prefers to set up work depots in existing industrial zones or paved areas to limit disruption for the environment and nature.
  • Elia promises local residents that they will always be able to access their homes.
  • Work is not performed during the night, so no depots or sites are lit up at that time.
  • Farmers who suffer damage as a result of the work are compensated accordingly as per the protocol between Elia and agricultural organisations.
  • Site traffic uses the shortest, safest and most accessible routes.
  • When diversions are required for normal traffic, this is arranged with the road authority (municipality or Flemish Region) and clearly communicated to residents.


Contact the team via  omwonenden@elia.be or via 0800 11 089 (during office hours).

You can also sign up for the electronic newsletter (in Dutch) providing regular updates on the project’s progress :

Elia will not use your personal information for a different purpose than the one stated when you provided your data.