Industrial textile washing and painting plant. The company was founded in the 1830s. For a period of time, it was the biggest industrial textile washing group in Germany, which furthermore played a leading role in the field of chemical washing technology. Around the 1920s, the group became a VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb) – a company owned by the people.
Abandoned power station in the industrial heart of Luxembourg. Already in the 1870s, four furnaces were built in the region. Since then, many blast furnaces have been added, which led to the blossoming of the Luxembourg steel industry and turned it into one of the largest in Europe. Originally, only the gas which was produced by the creation of cokes was used to generate electricity – next to, evidently older techniques which existed already. Later on, however, a new process was discovered to convert the furnace gas, which was released by the melting of the steel, into electricity. In 1951, the Centrale Thermique was built, which allowed to apply this newly developed technique and thus provide electricity for the surrounding industry. When the last furnace in the region was shut down in 1997, the power station lost its purpose and was left abandoned. It soon became a hotspot for copper thieves and graffiti sprayers. The building will soon be demolished.
Even though the roots of the steel manufacturing industry in this region date back to the second half of the nineteenth century, this particular company was only established around the mid twentieth century – in the 1960s. Similar to many other companies in Germany, the manufacturing plant at a certain point became a VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb), a people-owned-company which – in its heydays – employed more than 10,000 workers. The factory specialized in steel parts for heavy industrial purposes – from whole steel rolling installations to cranes. After the company was privatized, it was split into different branches, each with their own ‘speciality’. Although this particular plant has been abandoned, the company still thrives as it moved its production to more modern facilities.
Exploiting more than twenty plants across Belgium, this concrete producing group is one of the biggest in the country, producing more than 2.5 million cubic metres of concrete every year. However, as times changed, some of the concrete plants had to close; including this one, in the far north of Belgium.
The immense concrete coal washing plant was completed in 1954 with the financial aid of the Marshall plan (a plan funding projects in Europe after the Second World War). The washery, an ingenious concrete maze, could process up to 3000 tons of coal a day. In 1969, after only 15 years of service, the plant closed down. Reconversion plans were developed in 2005 and this (protected) industrial monument is now being transformed to be able to house the offices and archives of a myriad of cultural organizations.
The abandoned power station was built in the first decade of the twentieth century in a typical Industrial Revolution-architectural style with a grand steel roof. This beautiful building, equipped with marvelous turbines, was abandoned a long time ago and has – after decades of collecting dust – been sold to a private investor.