Belgian transmission system operator Elia and the German transmission system operator Amprion have secured necessary approvals for their ALEGrO project, an electricity interconnector between Belgium and Germany.

With the permissions in place, construction phase is set to start in mid-January 2018 and is expected to take two years to complete.

ALEGrO project will span 90km and pass through 14 municipalities between Germany and Belgium. It will cover 49km in Belgium and 41km in Germany.

The project has a capacity to transmit 1GW of electricity, which is 10% of Belgium’s average power consumption. It will use high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology for power transmission.

Elia chief public acceptance officer Ilse Tant said: "Elia is pleased that it was able to work constructively with the Walloon and federal authorities during the four-year process. This enabled us to find a route that respects the environment and local residents."

Elia said that three different projects will commence simultaneously this month. They include – the 49km underground connection which will be constructed alongside the main infrastructure between the transformer substation at Lixhe and the German border.

The converter station at Lixhe in the municipality of Visé, will link the ALEGrO connection (direct current) to the existing network (alternating current). The microtunnel will enable cables to pass under the Meuse and the canal at the Cheratte flyover.

ALEGrO project manager Elsa Celens said: "Elia is delighted with the implementation of this project and intends to carry out the work in the same way it conducted its permit application procedures, that is to say in consultation with residents and local authorities.”