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Thread: Cooling Tower & Gas Holder, Power Plant IM, Charelroi, Belgium, November 2019

  1. #1
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    Default Cooling Tower & Gas Holder, Power Plant IM, Charelroi, Belgium, November 2019


    1. The History
    Power Plant IM was originally built in 1921 in the Monceau-sur-Sambre neighbourhood of Charleroi. After its completion it was one of the largest coal burning power plants in Belgium. Water was let into the cooling tower where it would be cooled by the wind that swept in from portals in the base of the tower, releasing billowing columns of hot air. By 1977 the power plant and its massive tower was the main source of energy for the Charleroi area and is said to have been able to cool 480,000 gallons of water per minute.

    By the 1970s new components were even added to the power-plant that could also use gas power. However, the power-plant’s days were numbered. After years of service, a report found that Power Plant IM was responsible for around 10% of the total CO2 emissions in Belgium. Due to this, protests from Greenpeace in 2006 gave the power plant major negative attention and it closed a year later in 2007. After it was closed down, there were reports of looting by metal scrappers. The power plant still lies abandoned, and is said to be scheduled for demolition, but until that time it continues to stand as a popular location for urban explorers.

    2. The Explore
    This place needs no introduction and is possibly one of the most photographed places on the urbex circuit. It lies to the south-west of Charleroi down a long pot-holed road, on the opposite bank of the River Sambe to the powerplant itself. Last time I came here on a pretty tight schedule I parked up and walked down to the cooling tower and wandered on to the site. Sadly, though, the magic door was heavily locked. Game over. All was not lost, however, as the base of the cooling tower was accessible and I managed to get some reasonably impressive, if not definitive, shots from there. Fast-forward 18 months and I’m in Charleroi with a car on my own. Hence it was time to have another crack at it. Recent reports indicated it may be open again. So approached the magic door with trepidation and excitement. Much to my joy it had no lock on it and it was a very easy in and into this dystopian and beautiful former cooling tower. After spending half-an-hour in there popped over to the gas storage tower. Went up the steps so far but bottled going to the top.

    3. The Pictures



    Hello again old friend:

    img3996 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3997 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    On to the steps up:

    img4040 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    img4039 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And on to the magic door:

    img3998 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And we’re in. Wow!

    IM 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    IM 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    IM 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    IM 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4013 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4018 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4024 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Like some type of dystopian garden centre:

    img4030 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4035 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And wall-to-wall concrete:

    img4025 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Glad to be up here than down there this time:

    img4004 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Meanwhile, underneath:

    IM 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4044bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    At the bottom looking up:

    img6764 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6759 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6757bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Over the river, the power station itself:

    img4038 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And then on to the gas storage tower:

    img4054 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4046 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4048 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4050 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Dystopian:
    img4049 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Up we go:
    img4051 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4052 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: Andymacg, jcnw27060, KJurbex, Mearing, RedX_unleashed, Romford Reject, Sausage
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  4. #2
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    Cooling towers are very photogenic, doesn't matter what time of day it is or where the sun is shining you still get a good photo. If they had demolished that cooling tower you would have nothing to shoot at.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
  6. #3
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    Great pics Hughie, fantastic place this!
    Aversos Compono Animos

  7. Thanks given by: HughieD
  8. #4
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    Lovely.
    A beautiful spot.
    Did you go over to the powerplant?
    I wasn't expecting much there but was pleasantly surprised once we got going
    Check out my other photos (including blinding HDR and other weird stuff) and my electronica muzak here (the main page is over here)

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    looks like where they filmed the walking dead where negan lived lol good photography btw

  10. Thanks given by: HughieD
  11. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombizza View Post
    Lovely.
    A beautiful spot.
    Did you go over to the powerplant?
    I wasn't expecting much there but was pleasantly surprised once we got going
    Cheers man. Nah, was too much activity around the powerplant itself so didn't go there...

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