Powerplant X, Abandoned Power Station, Luxembourg

Power Plant X, Luxembourg

An old power plant on a steel works in Luxembourg with a rare example of a classic gas engine alternator

Visited April 2017  Luxembourg Luxembourg Part abandoned and derelict, part undergoing redevelopment

Power Plant X is certainly one of the more historically interesting power stations I’ve visited, with a whole host of varying machinery of differing ages. Located within a still-live steelworks, the power plant itself has been decommissioned for quite some time, and parts are currently undergoing dismantling for the purpose of restoration.

This site is a real peek into the bygone era of the steel industry, and houses some of few remaining gas engines in the world. We’ll work through the site in chronological order…

 

1899 Gas Engine Hall

The gas engine hall and the machinery it contained was commissioned in 1899. This is where the real gems of this site were located, the first being an original 600 horsepower gas engine manufactured by Cockerill, the only one remaining from nine that once filled the cavernous hall. At the far end of the building sits the largest gas engine ever built – we’ll have a look at that shortly. The gas engines used blast furnace gas, a byproduct of burning coke in a blast furnace, to produce electricity.

Powerplant X, Luxembourg - The cavernous Gas Engine hall. This would once have been filled with gas fired motor generators
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – The cavernous Gas Engine hall. This would once have been filled with gas fired motor generators
The gas engine hall in 1907
The gas engine hall in 1907
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - The last remaining 600 horsepower gas engine from 1899
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – The last remaining 600 horsepower gas engine from 1899
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Cockerill gas engine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Cockerill gas engine

 

1899 Pump house

The pump house was built at the same time as, and to service the gas engines. The building has fallen into a state of decay since its closure, and the ACEC electrically driven pumps have seen better days.

Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Pumphouse for the original power station
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Pumphouse for the original power station
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - ACEC Pumps
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – ACEC Pumps
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Closer view of a pump and partially stripped motor
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Closer view of a pump and partially stripped motor

 

1938 No. 11 Gas Engine

Back to the gas engines, the colossal 11,000 horsepower gas engine was a later addition, being commissioned in 1938 by Ehrhardt & Sehmer in Saarbrücken and was the largest ever built – its four cylinders were capable of producing 6,000Kw of electricity until the machine was retired in 1979. This would have been among the last gas engines to have been built, owing to the emergence of the more efficient steam turbine shortly thereafter. Two such 1950s examples are also in place at one end of the hall.

Powerplant X, Luxembourg - The colossal 11,000 horsepower No. 11 gas engine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – The colossal 11,000 horsepower No. 11 gas engine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - End-on view of the gas engine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – End-on view of the gas engine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - The huge alternator of the largest gas engine ever built
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – The huge alternator of the largest gas engine ever built
The No. 11 gas engine as it looked in 1940
The No. 11 gas engine as it looked in 1940
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Wider view in the engine hall. The parts are laid out for restoration
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Wider view in the engine hall. The parts are laid out for restoration
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Gas engine viewed from between the 1950s turbines
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Gas engine viewed from between the 1950s turbines

 

1940s Station

As the site grew, so did the demand for electricity. A new station was commissioned in the 1940s to run alongside the existing gas engines. This new plant was coal fired, producing steam to drive turbines. The turbine hall had been stripped out, and the turbines were long gone, but large Stein & Roubaix boilers remain in the boiler house, along with their associated control booths.

Powerplant X, Luxembourg - The 1940s turbine hall, now empty
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – The 1940s turbine hall, now empty
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - One of the Stein & Roubaix boilers
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – One of the Stein & Roubaix boilers
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Pipes in the boiler house
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Pipes in the boiler house
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Boiler control panel
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Boiler control panel

 

1950s Alsthom Turbo-Generators

The final phase of expansion saw the installation of two Alsthom steam turbines alongside the No. 11 gas engine.

Powerplant X, Luxembourg - One of the 1950s turbine generators
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – One of the 1950s turbine generators
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Side view of steam turbine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Side view of steam turbine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Alsthom steam turbine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Alsthom steam turbine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - End view of turbine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – End view of turbine
Powerplant X, Luxembourg - Turbine control panel
Powerplant X, Luxembourg – Turbine control panel
Author: Andy Kay | Facebook | Flickr | Instagram

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