Haut Fourneau 4

THE ABANDONED BLAST FURNACE IN BELGIUM


‘Haut Fourneau 4’ is the blast furnace of Marcinelle, Charleroi. HF4 produced iron for the rolling mill sites at La Louvière and Clabecq. It produced about 6000 tonnes of cast iron per day.

A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical furnace used for smelting to produce industrial metals, generally iron. In 2007 the blast furnace is shut down for maintenance to make the plant less polluting. But in 2008 the nearby cokes factory closed its doors. So the factory has to import its cokes directly from Russia, the coke is of poor quality and very expensive. Then the car industry almost collapsed, it was one of the most important buyers of the Charleroi iron to make steel. The site was put on stand-by in late 2008, waiting for better times and the restart of the cokes site. In 2011 it became clear the furnace would never be ignited again. Today the owner and city are debating to keep the blast furnace as industrial monument or to demolish the site. I took these photos of ‘Haut Fourneau 4’ in 2011 and 2019.

Built 1963
Stand-by 2009
Demolished 2019
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