Built: 1900

Abandoned: 1978

Demolished: 2006

Visited: 2005

Houdeng-Goegnies, Hainaut, Belgium

SAFEA, or Société anonyme pour la fabrication d’engrais azotés, was founded by Usines Gustav Boel (UGB) and Union chimique belge (UCB). Two companies from the rich industrial families of Boël and Janssens. SAFEA produced artificial manure from surplus (hydrogen) from the UGB cokes plant. During the WWII they even produced nitric acid for the production of explosives.


The company closed the gates in 1978, UGB, later taken over by Duferco, sold the place to the Belgium government for 10 million euros. The buildings will be demolished and the ground will be cleaned. In a few years a new industrial zone will be ready for new companies. The demolition started in 2006, today the buildings are gone. Only some old trees are saved, they are listed as historical monuments! To bad they couldn’t do the same for the old factory buildings.

Photos of SAFEA

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