Elia, the Belgian Transmission System Operator (TSO), 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 60 km of 380 kV extra-high voltage cable, as well as supplying accessories and on-site services.
Elia, a key player in the energy market and in the interconnected electricity system at European level, is developing the 380 kV Stevin project to strengthen Belgium's high-voltage grid. The construction of this major 3,000 megawatt (MW) capacity power link is essential for the supply of electricity to Belgium and for its coastal region in particular.
The four major benefits are: 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 United Kingdom.
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 10 km and will use a 380 kV XLPE cable design with a copper cross-section of 2500mm², 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 380 kV 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 39 km of XLPE 150 kV aluminum cables with a cross-section of 2000mm². One-third of the supplied cables will be equipped with integrated optical fibers for thermal monitoring. The installation works for these 3 connections is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.
Philippe Gastineau, Nexans Executive Vice President Land High Voltage, 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."