Kelenföldi Erőmű


budapest power plantBudapest, Hungary

Built in 1914

Partly abandoned in 2005

Visited on 09 2015


In connection with the electrification program of the capital, electricity generation started at Kelenföld Power Plant in June 1914. In accordance with the technical conditions of the era, steam was generated in coal-fired low pressure boilers, and electricity was produced in two turbo generator units.

From 1922 until 1943, new steam boilers and turbines were installed in two extension phases. Before World War II, 19 boilers and 8 turbines operated already at 38 bar steam pressure. Most of the then state-of-the-art equipment were made by Hungarian manufacturers.

Between 1962 and 1972, the power plant completely changed in accordance with the heat supply demands. The former condensing technology was replaced by back pressure and heating turbines and the reliability of district heating was improved by hot water boilers. Coal and heavy oil firing was gradually replaced by natural gas firing.

The buildings I visited were designed and built by Kálmán Reichl and Virgil Borbíró between 1927 and 1929. Today they are protected by law, which means they’ll never be demolished, but left to slowly decay. This part of the Kelenföld Power Plant, which was officially shut down in 2005, isn’t technically abandoned, several apocalyptic movie scenes and music videos have been filmed at Kelenföld. The art deco control room and the old transformer houses are however, strictly closed to the public.