Centrale Cockerill


‘Centrale Cockerill’ is a power station in the industrial region of the Belgium city of Liège. From here energy was distributed to the big factories of the Cockerill group in the neighborhood.

In 1809, the inaugural ironworks emerged in Liège, Belgium. A pivotal transformation in the steel industry was catalyzed by John Cockerill and his brother James, who introduced blast furnaces and coke, departing from the conventional use of charcoal. These groundbreaking innovations laid the foundation for their pioneering enterprise, John Cockerill & Cie, officially established in Seraing in 1817.

Eventually, over the next decades, many more metallurgical plants and foundries were built in this area. In essence, they became an integral part of Wallonia’s industrial backbone, the sillon industriel. During the 1970s and 1980s, the steel industry faced significant challenges due to rising competition from countries with lower wages and an oversupply in the market. Consequently, in the early 2000s, the initial wave of factory closures began. As a consequence of these changes, part of this power plant ceased operations in 2009, though the power distribution section remained active initially. However, by 2018, the last transformer hall was also closed, resulting in the complete abandonment of the site.

When I explored the abandoned power plant in Liège, I noticed that the turbines had already been dismantled. Additionally, many of the meters were missing, likely taken by metal thieves. My visits to the ‘Centrale Cockerill’ occurred in both 2017 and 2019. More abandoned power plants can be found here.

Built ?
Abandoned 2009-2018