Nestled in the Charleroi region are the remnants of the city’s once-thriving steel industry. Amidst numerous steel factories, blast furnaces, and a cokes factory, the weathered walls of the Cockerill-Sambre power plant, affectionately known as the Blue Power Plant, still stand.
Functioning in conjunction with the cokes factory, the power plant operated on the gas produced during cokes creation. This symbiotic relationship presented a sustainable approach to energy generation, utilizing byproducts effectively. While specific data on the power plant’s megawatt output eludes me, it housed multiple petite turbines, each fueled by various processes stemming from cokes creation. Notably, these turbines were sourced from reputable companies like Escher Wyss, Oerlikon, and Ingersoll-Rand, showcasing diverse energy generation methods.
The exploration itself proved a fascinating adventure. My initial visit coincided with a transition in security providers—from Russo to Securitas. Securing access through a fellow explorer, the first attempt was seamless with no security encounters. However, dissatisfied with my initial photo results, a return trip was inevitable. The second visit, marked by close encounters with Securitas during both entry and exit, added an element of thrill to the exploration.
Despite the impending demolition, the site retains its allure. The ongoing demolition has already stripped the first floor bare. Notably, the plant boasts a captivating control room adorned with blue panels, earning it the nickname Blue Power Plant. The visual appeal of this control room adds an extra layer of interest to the exploration.
In conclusion, this urban exploration revealed a fascinating chapter in the city’s industrial narrative. The Blue Power Plant, with its historical significance and architectural allure, encapsulates the spirit of an era now fading into memory.