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Report - Power Station IM - Belgium - May 2012 (Industrial Sites)

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Garou Garou, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Garou Garou

    Garou Garou 28DL Regular User
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    The next stage after the cooling tower (see posting Power-Station-IM-Cooling-Tower-Belgium-May-2012) was to take a stroll over the river to the main power station. This is a huge, imposing building on the outside, fed by a large coal handling conveyor and a large gas pipe, indicating that this was a dual-fuel power station. One conveyor disappears into the ground, unclear where it goes, but the way is blocked by large boulders dropped in the hole.

    We took a complicated route inside, later meeting a group who went in a more straightforward way. Once inside, you pass through a series of huge spaces, constantly surprised that there is even more. Its like three cathedrals joined together. And they are all full of huge, complex metalwork and machinery. When live, it must have been an awesomely loud and hot place, now it is silent and dark, except for the distant clanging of an air vent in the roof somewhere.

    It's all on multiple levels, with metal grille gantries and stairways all over the place, winding around you are thousands of pipes. Sometimes you emerge five stories up on a huge gantry crane above a turbine hall. Sometimes you are buried in the metal roots of a huge machine. You need whole day and more for this place.

    You might imagine a power station is pretty straightforward: burn some coal in a furnace, heat some water, feed the steam into a couple of turbines, plug into the grid - job done. Nope - it needs a massive amount of supporting infrastructure. There are coal hoppers, pipes, ash pumps (!) safety valves, heat exchangers, pressure and water sampling tubes, sensors, cables, pipes, air blowers, control desks, control rooms, server rooms, labs, workshops, cranes, more pipes, stop when you can't take any more.

    Apparently the station was mothballed for years and then they decided to give up on it. It's all still in there, with only a bit of evidence of copper thieving. Turbines have had their top cases lifted onto props for maintenance, exposing the arrays of fan blades. Technology is 20 years out of date, fundamental components are obsolete and ruined. They will never start this place up again; the major organs are there but the nervous system is dead.

    RIP IM


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