Urheberrechte, Copyright: ©Uwe Niggemeier
The mill in La Louviere was founded in
1853 as “Fonderies et Laminoirs Ernest Boucquéau”. When Ernest Boucquéau
died in 1880 he inherited his steel mill to his plant manager Gustave
Based on local coal deposits a large integrated mill grew on the banks of
the Charleroi-Bruxelles shipping canal.
A Thomas-converter melt shop was installed in 1903 and in 1912 the
construction of two modern blast furnaces began.
After destruction in the first world war the mill was restarted in 1924
with two blast furnaces, a coke plant, a Thomas-converter steel making
shop, an open hearth shop, several rolling mills a foundry and a forge.
Two new blast furnaces were built in between 1930 and 1937.
In 1967 a new BOF shop containing two 85 ton LD-AC converters was
completed. A third converter is installed in 1969.
Blast furnace no. 6 was built in 1972.
The coking plant, built in the 1930ies, was closed in the 1980ies and than
In 1993 new 85 ton electric arc melt shop was installed.
The Usines Gustave Boël (UGB) were partly taken over by the Hoogovens
steel group from the Netherlands in 1997. In the same year the last blast
furnace and the BOF shop are closed down.
In 1999 the DUFERCO steel group acquires the plant.
In 2003 the unique row of blast furnaces from four generations (1912,
1930,1958,1972) was demolished.
In 2011 the Russian NLMK group took over the flat rolling activities from
DUFERCO who kept the steel making and wire rolling part.