Electric utility company Westar Energy (WR) announced Thursday that it plans to build a new 345-kilovolt high-capacity transmission line from northwest of Wichita, Kansas, near its Gordon Evans Energy Center, to the Hutchinson area.

Following construction of that line, the company plans to build additional high-capacity power lines to improve the electric network in Kansas, and strengthen Kansas' access to the broader regional transmission system, the Topeka, Kan.-based company said.

"This new high-capacity line will be an essential expansion of the transmission network to serve not only our retail and wholesale customers but also electric users throughout Kansas and a multi-state region," the company said. "Following completion of this route, we plan to make additional transmission network investments with lines running north from the Hutchinson area to Salina and from southeast of Wichita, near Rose Hill, to the Kansas-Oklahoma border.

The company's shares were trading down 8 cents at $23.37 Thursday.

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