HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium

An abandoned blast furnace in Belgium with fantastic views from the top across the huge surrounding industrial site.

HF4 Blast Furnace, Charleroi, Belgium
 

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History of HF4 Blast Furnace

Haut Fourneau 4, commonly known as just HF4 was part of the Cockerill-Sambre steel works, a vast industrial site in Belgium. Steel has been produced at the site since the early 1800’s. The blast furnace was used for smelting iron ore, and was the major technique used for the production of steel at the time. The iron and steel produced at HF4 was mainly used for car production, an industry that almost collapsed in 2008. Production at the steel works was halted and the plant placed on standby. The facility was sold to another company, however production was never restarted and in 2012 the site was closed down after a failed merger.

Our Visit
Driving into the heart of the city we saw the mammoth industrial site, some parts looking dilapidated and other areas still with steam and smoke coming from them. We mused about how cool it would be to have a look around. As the satnav started to tell us we were approaching our destination, it dawned on us that was exactly what we were about to do! We headed over to the blast furnace first – I’d climbed one before, at night, and hadn’t really seen the impressive machinery that forms the base of these behemoths. After looking around the buildings on the ground we started to head up. The views from the top were great.
HF4 Power Plant, Belgium - One of the two BBC generatorsHF4 Power Plant

We headed back to the site a few months later to look at a building we had missed on our first visit. The building was the Turbo Blower House, containing the blast furnace’s huge compressors. Take a look at my report from the HF4 Turbo Blower House.

 

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - The blast furnace towering into the sky

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – The blast furnace towering into the sky

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Inside the blast furnace building

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – Inside the blast furnace building

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - The "Brain" at the base of the blast furnace

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – The “Brain” at the base of the blast furnace

HF4 Blast Furnace - Pipes around the base

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Pipes around the base

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Work space

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Work space

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - View from the other side

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – View from the other side

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Ground level equipment

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – Ground level equipment

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Equipment

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Equipment

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Rows of pipes

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Rows of pipes

Control room

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Control room

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – Control room

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Control panels

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Control panels

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Control room

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Control room

Heading up the blast furnace

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Looking up the huge structure

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – Looking up the huge structure

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Huge structure

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Huge structure

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Big pipes

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Big pipes

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - There were plenty of walkways around big tanks

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – There were plenty of walkways around big tanks

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - At the top

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HF4 Blast Furnace – At the top

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Winding wheel

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Winding wheel

Views across the site

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Industrial landscape

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – Industrial landscape

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - View down to the buildings below

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – View down to the buildings below

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Looking down

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Looking down

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Lots of industry

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HF4 Blast Furnace – Lots of industry

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - Back on the ground looking out

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – Back on the ground looking out

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - The railway transported coal and iron ore to the site

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HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium – The railway transported coal and iron ore to the site

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