Stevin project

The 380kV Stevin project aims to upgrade the electricity grid between Zomergem and Zeebrugge. This grid expansion is key to securing Belgium’s future electricity supplies, especially in the coastal region.

Belgian transmission system operator (TSO) Elia will rely on Nexans extra-high voltage cable systems for the major Stevin project to reinforce Belgium’s high-voltage power grid.

The project will require Nexans to manufacture, supply and install around 60km of 380kV extra-high voltage cable, as well as supplying accessories and onsite services.

Elia, a key player in the energy market and the interconnected electricity system at European level, is developing the 380kV Stevin project to strengthen Belgium’s high-voltage grid. The construction of this major 3,000MW capacity power link is essential for the supply of electricity to Belgium and for its coastal region in particular.

The four major benefits include:

  • The improvement of the electricity supply for the West Flanders region to facilitate further economic development in the strategically important growth area in and around the port of Zeebrugge
  • Enabling the connection of additional decentralized electricity generation (wind, solar and other forms of sustainable energy) in the coastal region
  • Enabling offshore wind power to be brought on land and transmitted to the domestic market
  • Enabling the creation of a further interconnection with the Belgian grid via the projected NEMO subsea connection to the UK

For environmental considerations it has been decided to partially underground the link in the north of the city of Bruges. It will consist of four parallel links on a route length of about 10km and will use a 380kV XLPE cable design with a copper cross-section of 2,500mm², one-third of the supplied cables will be equipped with integrated optical fibers for thermal monitoring.

Furthermore, as the link will cross a canal (the Boudewijnkanaal), this unique project will also require special installation techniques and cables to install part of the 380kV link in tunnels, an area where Nexans has long experience. The installation works are scheduled to start in early 2016.

Elia has also awarded Nexans three other major infrastructure projects needed to further strengthen the Belgian high-voltage grid. The projects are the connections Schoondaele-Sint Baafs Vijve in the Ghent region, Lillo-Ketenisse in the Antwerp harbor region, and Gilly-Montignies in the Charleroi region.

Nexans will manufacture, supply and install a total of 39km of XLPE 150kV aluminium cables with a cross-section of 2,000mm². One-third of the supplied cables will be equipped with integrated optical fibers for thermal monitoring. The installation works for these three connections is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.

Nexans land high-voltage executive vice-president Philippe Gastineau said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this major contract for the Stevin project that further reinforces our long standing relationship with Elia as a partner for Belgium’s grid reinforcement programme."

The Elia Group and Nexans are members of the European association Friends of the Supergrid.

For more information, please contact Nexans.