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Belgian and British electricity grids get connected

From now on the Belgian and the UK electricity grids are connected thanks to an undersea cable. The Nemo Link was inaugurated on Wednesday. Belgium’s electricity distribution network was already connected to that of our neighbours The Netherlands, France and Luxembourg and work is currently underway on an electricity interconnector that will link up our country’s electricity grid to that of Germany.   

The company responsible for Belgium’s high tension electricity distribution network Elia and the British National Grid have been working on the cable for the past 10 years. The result is a 130 kilometre long double high tension cable, 130 kilometres of which runs under the sea. The Nemo Link runs from Herdersbrug near Bruges (West Flanders) to Richborough in the English country of Kent.  

The cable is capable of carrying 1,000 megawatts of electricity in both directions. This is around the same as the production capacity of a nuclear power station. The cable will enable the UK to export electricity to Belgium and for Belgium to export electricity to the UK.

The interconnector with the UK grid will make a major contribution to ensuring security of  supply. This has been a hot topic in Belgium in recent months due to technical issues with a number of the country’s nuclear reactors.  

The cable will be tested over the next few weeks and should enter services during the first quarter of 2019.