GES208 - Powerstation EVCB, Belgium
The benefit of exploring in the winter months is that flights and trains are cheaper, the down side is that it's cold and the days aren't very long. As such we had to rush to get any time at all in this place. By the time I left it was dark enough to require light painting inside the building.
The original power station was built on this site in 1913, to provide power to the burgeoning industrial area in it's vicinity. The site was expanded in the late 40s and through the 50s, to include utilising gas and oil. The last major addition to the site was in 1974, with gas turbines and a set up for steam to power nearby paper mills. The area of interest to explorers was taken out of service in the mid 90's. One area was turned into a museum, although it's currently closed.
We hopped into the site, and ran as quick as we could over open ground, in sight of the main security office, we could only hope for the best. As it turned out, our bravery was rewarded. The building on the left was mostly gutted, the one on the right was awaiting it's fate.
Running around the red skip above, we darted into the building. The first site were these towering staircases around what I believe are boilers. Producing the steam for the turbines.
Thinking about going up, there were many options.
A view of the boiler from another angle. It's difficult to convey the scale. However when you look up and you have to keep tilting your head back to take it all in.
Up a few levels, and there was a walkway to the turbine hall. You can see the greeny blue turbine just on the centre right of the picture below. Another one sat at the opposite end of the hall. I like the yellowy steel supports in this shot. There's something about steel I just love. The strength and ability to resist what's thrown at it.
The turbine seen in the shot above, slowly rotting away.
A small control office, sat between two rigid steel pillars, the strong steel holds, but the weak paint has flaked off.
A close up of one of the turbines, looking somewhat sorry for itself. Mould grows on it's flanks, and grass around it. The grass blown in through the smashed windows.
In-between the two main boiler sections, a control room sits at the back. Sadly as the sun was setting, it was tough to control the bleaching in at the back.
A famous shot for those that have made it here, using myself to give scale.
More Cockerill pipes, next to the control room, rising up into the heavens of the plant.
I'd agreed to rendez-vous with GE063 and GE079, so set off to the turbine hall. I met them on the ground floor. They'd both been here before, so were less interested in exploring the place. This area sits below and in-between the two turbines in the turbine hall, on the ground floor. Reminded me a bit of pyestock.
Interesting to thing that someone sat down and designed all these layouts, a number of which are particularly photogenic, as below.
I crossed over to the other building, but there wasn't much to see. It has been stripped and piles of debris littered the area. The security office was the white building just visibly in the background.
An external shot of the stripped building, mostly taken down to it's skeleton. A stairwell sits proud from the structure.
I went back to the boiler house, and up to the very top of the building, whizzing around endless flights of stairs in the process. The light was fading fast, so I had to be quick. The floor didn't look too safe, a rusty wire mesh with holes here an there. Looking down to the area i'd photographed previously.
Some smaller turbines at the top of the building. The casing having disintegrated across the floor.
With the light fading, it was time to hit the road. I didn't want to have to negotiate the place in the dark, it was hard enough during daylight. I looked around for the others, but couldn't see them. I assumed they'd headed back. So I hopped the wall, and set off back to the car. Power station explores are always great, but ones like here are a real treat, in a nice state of decay. Sadly most of the building will have been stripped by the time you read this, as work is going on all the time to dismantle and then demolish it.
If you read foreign or know how to use google translate, you can get more information here.