Forges de Clabecq

Built: 1888

Abandoned: 1996

Demolished: 2010

Visited: 2008

Clabecq, Belgium

In 1975 about 6.000 people worked at this steal plant. The blast furnace ‘Forges The Clabecq’ was the pride of the country and produced steal for more than 100 years. Already in 1752 there was a smithy in the town of Clabecq, it was driven by a water mill. The company grew and in 1819, under the name ‘Fonderie et Platinerie de Fer’, it built numerous plants and even a small blast furnace. Clabecq, or Klabbeek in Dutch, is a village in the Walloon municipality of Tubize. The village is located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant. It used to be its own municipality until the period of fusion of Belgian municipalities in 1977.

1829

In 1829 the company got new owners after a bankruptcy. Forges de Clabecq was founded by Josse-Philippe-Edouard Goffin. In 1832, the Charleroi-Brussels Canal was completed, allowing the company to grow considerably. However, it took until after 1850 before there was a real factory. In 1975 the company was at its peak. It included blast furnaces, rolling mills, an installation for continuous casting, a foundry and an electrical steel plant.

After the Oil Crisis of 1973, the decline of steel production in Europe began. A brief strike took place in 1993. In December 1996 the company went bankrupt.

1997

In 1997, part of the factory site and installations, was bought by the steel company Duferco. Another part is owned by the Walloon region. The heavily polluted ground and water near the site was cleaned in 2008. The buildings and installations were demolished in 2009.

More reports on blast furnaces can be found here: HF-6 SeraingVölklinger Hütte, HF-4 Charleroi and Rheinische Stahlwerke.

Photos of Forges de Clabecq

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