Duferco Steel Works, La Louvière, Belgium

Duferco Steel Works, La Louvière, Belgium

The Duferco steel works at Usine Gustave Boël made long steel products until production ceased in 2013. The NLMK areas of the plant are still in use.

Visited May 2018 La Louviere, Belgium Partly Disused

The Usine Gustave Boël located in La Louvière is a big part of the steel making history of Belgium. The steel works was established in 1853 by Ernest Boucquéau on the bank of the Brussels–Charleroi Canal and in proximity to the Manage to Mons railway line.

Aerial view of the Duferco works at Usine Gustave Boël
Aerial view of the Duferco works at Usine Gustave Boël

Gustave Boël was an accountant working for Boucquéau. In 1862 Boucquéau founded a railway company which put a financial strain on the steel works, enough to almost bankrupt the company, and was rescued by Boël who gave financial help. On the death of Boucquéau in 1880 he bequeathed the company to Boël.

The steel works grew and by the 1900s was employing over 1,200 people. The works were rebuilt in 1919 following the First World War, including two blast furnaces. Further expansion in the 1930s and 40s added two further blast furnaces, and a further two in 1958 and 1972. By the 1970s the works employed 3,200 people.

From the 1970s onward the works experienced a decline in production. The company was sold to Duferco in 1998, who demolished the blast furnaces in the early 2000s. In 2006 Duferco formed a joint venture with the russian firm NLMK. The joint venture ended in 2011, with Duferco retaining the long-products activities at La Louviere while NLMK kept the flat products section.

Duferco ceased operations at La Louviere in 2013, with the loss of 450 jobs. The NLMK areas of the factory are still in operation.

Duferco La Louvière - View down the ladle bay in the steel works
Duferco La Louvière – View down the ladle bay in the steel works
Duferco La Louvière - Arc Furnace in the Concast plant
Duferco La Louvière – Arc Furnace in the Concast plant
Duferco La Louvière - Concast (Continuous Casting) Plant
Duferco La Louvière – Concast (Continuous Casting) Plant
Duferco La Louvière - Duferco La Louvière - Gas off-takes pipes
Duferco La Louvière – Duferco La Louvière – Gas off-takes pipes
Duferco La Louvière - Concast Plant Control Room
Duferco La Louvière – Concast Plant Control Room
Duferco La Louvière - Duferco La Louvière - Concast Plant Control Room
Duferco La Louvière – Concast Plant Control Room
Duferco La Louvière - Ladles in the casting house
Duferco La Louvière – Ladles in the casting house
Duferco La Louvière - Long-products plant
Duferco La Louvière – Long-products plant
Duferco La Louvière - Ladle lids
Duferco La Louvière – Ladle lids
Duferco La Louvière - View down the long-products production area
Duferco La Louvière – View down the long-products production area
Duferco La Louvière - Casting platform
Duferco La Louvière – Casting platform
Duferco La Louvière - Other side of the rotating ladle handler
Duferco La Louvière – Other side of the rotating ladle handler
Duferco La Louvière - Rotating ladle handler and local control panel
Duferco La Louvière – Rotating ladle handler and local control panel
Duferco La Louvière - Casting house control room
Duferco La Louvière – Casting house control room
Duferco La Louvière - Slab caster
Duferco La Louvière – Slab caster
Duferco La Louvière - Slab Caster Control Room
Duferco La Louvière – Slab Caster Control Room
Duferco La Louvière - Molten steel trucks
Duferco La Louvière – Molten steel trucks
Duferco La Louvière - Casting Equipment
Duferco La Louvière – Casting Equipment
Duferco La Louvière - Casting Equipment
Duferco La Louvière – Casting Equipment
Duferco La Louvière - Overview of casting area
Duferco La Louvière – Overview of casting area
Duferco La Louvière - Tank bay
Duferco La Louvière – Tank bay
Duferco La Louvière - Molten steel trucks and handling tracks
Duferco La Louvière – Molten steel trucks and handling tracks

 

Finishing off in the old boiler house…

Duferco La Louvière - View inside the old boiler house
Duferco La Louvière – View inside the old boiler house
Duferco La Louvière - One of the boilers in the old boiler house
Duferco La Louvière – One of the boilers in the old boiler house

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