Haut Fourneau 4

Built: 1963

On stand-by: 2009

Visited: 2010

Charleroi, Belgium

This is the blast furnace of Marcinelle, Charleroi. A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical furnace used for smelting to produce industrial metals, generally iron. HF4 produced iron for the rolling mill sites at La Louvière and Clabecq. It produced about 6000 tonnes of cast iron per day.

Car industry

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. Than 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.

Photos Haut Fourneau 4

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