Stora Enso Paper Mill, Corbehem, France

Stora Enso Paper Mill, Corbehem, France

Dating back to the 1920s, the industrial site in Corehem, France developed into a huge paper mill complex including several power stations.

Visited April 2018 Corbehem, Pas-de-Calais, France Demolished

The origins of the industrial site in Corbeham in northern France date back to 1920 when the Béghin family founded a candy factory. The factory developed and diversified its product range when various market opportunities became available. One of these markets, paper making, proved to be the most successful and the sites paper mill expanded rapidly, employing around 2,000 people in the 1960s.

The mill saw heavy investment and was expanded in the late 1980s when the Paper Machine no. 5 was built, along with numerous new buildings for processing wood pulp, water treatment and other associated processes.

In 1992 the site was sold to Stora Enso, who ceased all other production at the site to concentrate solely on the production of paper, retaining three paper making machines. Two of the three paper machines were taken out of service in 2006, and laid off 398 of the 751 employees.

Aerial view of the Corbehem factories
Aerial view of the Corbehem factories

In 2003 the site’s ageing power plants were decommissioned and replaced with a new gas-fired steam production facility. From that point all electricity used was imported from the National Grid, while control of the substation was retained by the power plant.

By 2012 the mill was struggling to secure the contracts necessary to sustain production. The PM5 paper machine was only being used to produce a little over 250,000 tons of paper, vastly under its 330,000 ton capacity, and operated at a loss if production was below 285,000 tons. The mill finally closed in 2015 after owners tried to sell the mill but failed to secure a buyer.

The mill, associated buildings and power plants were demolished in 2018.

A fantastic history of the site has been compiled (in French) here: Béghin factories

 

Original 1934 Power Plant

The site’s original power plant was built in 1934 and contains a fantastic Rateau Schneider turbine

Stora Enso, Corbehem - Rateau Schneider turbine and old control panels
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Rateau Schneider turbine and old control panels
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Original turbine hall
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Original turbine hall
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Controls on the end of the turbine
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Controls on the end of the turbine
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Alternator in front of control panels
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Alternator in front of control panels
Stora Enso, Corbehem - A partially stripped turbine in the hall
Stora Enso, Corbehem – A partially stripped turbine in the hall
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Pumps in the old power station
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Pumps in the old power station
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Side view of pump room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Side view of pump room
Stora Enso, Corbehem - The huge old boiler
Stora Enso, Corbehem – The huge old boiler
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Boiler forced draught fan
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Boiler forced draught fan
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Pipes in the power station
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Pipes in the power station
Stora Enso, Corbehem - A stripped out control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – A stripped out control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem - The power station while demolition was under way
Stora Enso, Corbehem – The power station while demolition was under way

1963 Power Plant

A second power plant was added in 1963 and was decommissioned in 2003.

Stora Enso, Corbehem - Turbine hall - the turbines had been removed
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Turbine hall – the turbines had been removed
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Turbine hall ground floor
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Turbine hall ground floor
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Power station control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Power station control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Power station control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Power station control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Last log book entry was dated April 2000
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Last log book entry was dated April 2000
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Control panel detail
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Control panel detail
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Stairs in power station
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Stairs in power station
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Old records storage room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Old records storage room
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Control panels elsewhere in the power station
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Control panels elsewhere in the power station
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Old control panels
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Old control panels
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Power station laboratory
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Power station laboratory

Sub Station Control Room

The site had its own substation connecting it to the national grid, with a dedicated control room.

Stora Enso, Corbehem - The sub station's switch yard
Stora Enso, Corbehem – The sub station’s switch yard
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Substation control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Substation control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Grid commander's desk
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Grid commander’s desk
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Sub station control room and distribution panel
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Sub station control room and distribution panel
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Site distribution status panel
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Site distribution status panel

PM3 and PM4 Paper Mill

Most of the old mills had been demolished at the time of our visit

Stora Enso, Corbehem - Old paper machine equipment
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Old paper machine equipment
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Old paper machine equipment
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Old paper machine equipment
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Coated colour kitchen
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Coated colour kitchen
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Chemical pulping tanks
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Chemical pulping tanks
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Small control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Small control room

PM5 Paper Mill Building

The huge PM5 paper machine had been removed, but the building still contained all of the other associated facilities and machinery

Stora Enso, Corbehem - Ground floor of the PM5 building
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Ground floor of the PM5 building
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Top of the huge calender's roller assembly
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Top of the huge calender’s roller assembly
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Super calender machine
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Super calender machine
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Various stages of the calender machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Various stages of the calender machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Inside the calender machine
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Inside the calender machine
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Winder control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Winder control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem - One of the winder machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem – One of the winder machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Packaging equipment
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Packaging equipment
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Packaging line
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Packaging line
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Packaging line
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Packaging line
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Packing control room
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Packing control room

The PM5 Machine

Stora Enso, Corbehem - The PM5 paper machine in 2014
Stora Enso, Corbehem – The PM5 paper machine in 2014
Stora Enso, Corbehem - The empty space where PM5 used to be located
Stora Enso, Corbehem – The empty space where PM5 used to be located
Stora Enso, Corbehem - PM5 trench
Stora Enso, Corbehem – PM5 trench

TMP Building

The TMP building was erected in 1989 to support PM5, providing pulp cleaning, screening and bleaching processes.

Stora Enso, Corbehem - Sprout-Bauer compressors
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Sprout-Bauer compressors
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Pulp refiner machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Pulp refiner machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Pulp refiner machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Pulp refiner machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Pulp refiner machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Between the machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Twin controls
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Twin controls
Stora Enso, Corbehem - Pulp refiner machines
Stora Enso, Corbehem – Pulp refiner machines

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