Report - - Cooling Tower, IM Powerplant, Charleroi, Belgium, November 2019 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Cooling Tower, IM Powerplant, Charleroi, Belgium, November 2019


28DL Regular User
Regular User
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:

On to the steps up:

And on to the magic door:

And we’re in. Wow!

Like some type of dystopian garden-centre:

And wall-to-wall concrete:

Glad to be up here than down there this time:

Meanwhile, underneath:

At the bottom looking up:

And back out again:

Over the river, the power station itself:

And then on to the gas storage tower:


Up we go:

Last edited:


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Lovely! One place that is very well covered yet I never get tired of seeing. Some great shots there mate!

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Stunning report. Being inside gives an incredible view around, its huge. Superb shots, definitely a classic:cool: