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This is a single day event, but we organised different sort of shootings on the location: group shooting with the models of Mister Belgium Personality and different individuel shootings. The Forges de Clabecq don't exist anymore: nearly all of it is demolished to make room for new appartments and office buildings.
We organised some photoshoots events on the site, when there was still much to photograph. We went up to the HF6 (you can see Brussels and the blinking Atomium balls from the release valves on top of the furnace). We organised even a photoshoot for all the models of Mister Belgium Personality (the 12 finalists were present).
Forges de Clabecq, 2010
The Forges de Clabecq were once one of the most important blast furnaces of Belgium. There were up to 6 individual blast furnaces (not all of them were in activity at the same time). The whole process, from ore preparation to hot rolling was done at the site. One hundred years ago, the location of the site was ideal, nearby Brussels (high qualified working forces) and at a canal (supply of cokes and ore). The cokes were produced nearby Brussels, and the gaz that was produced as byproduct was sold as "gaz de ville". When Belgium switched to natural gas, the cokes plant closed and the Forges had to buy cokes from outside suppliers.
At the end, only the last blast furnace (HF6) was in activity, and an older furnace was kept in working order. The smaller furnace would be used to produce specific sorts of steel.
The factory went bankrupt, and the strikers made the news headlines for many weeks. The whole site was bought by another company, Duferco. Duferco is not an industrial producer (like Mittal or Tata) but more of a trader. After one year, the site was closed for good.
The destruction of the whole plant was a slow operation (it took more than 10 years). In the beginning, there was not much opposition to the project of realising appartments and office building: the works processed very slowly and nothing seemed to happen from the outside. But when the mighty blast furnace HF6 went down, there was an outcry of the local population (most of them had relatives who worked on the site). But then it was too late: the HF6 was destroyed at the end, when there was nothing left to save.
That has always been the plan of Duferco from day one: destroy as much as possible, to loose the least possible space to be able to build more appartments and offices.
The mighty HF6 blast furnace with his three cowpers
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