Under the $35m contract, ABB will design, supply and commission a 420kV gas-insulated switchgear to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment in order to strengthen the power supply reliability in Belgium.

The ABB’s 130 megavolt-ampere (MVAr) shunt reactors, which will be installed in three 380kV substations, will improve power quality and reduce transmission costs, thus enhancing the power transmission’s energy efficiency.

Currently, Elia is implementing the Stevin project, which comprises a new 47km, double 380kV high-voltage line between cities of Zomergem and Zeebrugge, to allow offshore wind power to be supplied on land and to the domestic market.

Additionally, the increased capacity will support power flow over a subsea direct-current connection between the UK and Belgium.

The Stevin project is being developed as part of Belgium’s efforts to generate 13% of energy needs from renewables by 2020 by facilitating integration of offshore wind power.

ABB Power Products division president Bernhard Jucker said: "ABB’s latest GIS is extremely compact and offers high reliability and safety while minimizing environmental impact.

"We are pleased to support the integration of renewable energy and help strengthen the Belgian grid."