HEAVY METAL The Walloon steel industry is older…

HEAVY METAL

The Walloon steel industry is older than Belgium
itself. Its history dates back to 1817 when English entrepreneur John Cockerill
opened his first steel factory in Seraing near Liege to provide steel for his
weaving looms. Over the next years the steel industry kept expanding until it
was dealt severe blows by the crisis of the 1980’s. Mergers and significant
capital investments couldn’t prevent that the two main blast furnaces were shut
down in 2005. For a brief moment things were looking up when the Indian steel
magnate Mittal took over and created ArcelorMittal, but due to continuing
social conflicts activity was shut down permanently in 2011. It didn’t take too
long for copper thieves to find their way to the abandoned steel mill and strip
it of all its copper wire, just like they did in the two blast furnaces before…


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