John Cockerill (company)

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John Cockerill Group
John Cockerill
Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie
PredecessorPart of Cockerill-Sambre

John Cockerill, formerly Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie (CMI),[1] is a mechanical engineering group headquartered in Seraing, Belgium. It produces machinery for steel plants, industrial heat recovery equipment and boilers, as well as shunting locomotives and military equipment.


In 1817, an iron foundry was established in Seraing by John Cockerill and his brother, Charles James Cockerill. As well as creating an iron works, John Cockerill also began machine-building activities, following in the footsteps of his father, William Cockerill, who had made his fortune constructing machines for the textile industry in the Liège region. In 1825, the enterprise became known as John Cockerill & Cie.[2]

The company produced the primary industrial machinery of the day – steam engines, blast furnace blowers, etc. In 1835, the company produced the first Belgian steam locomotive, Le Belge, beginning a tradition of building locomotives for the railways of Belgium. An association with military equipment also began early in the 19th century, building a battleship for the United Kingdom of the Netherlands navy in 1825.[3]

By 1981, the firm had become part of the financially troubled Cockerill-Sambre group. In 1982, Cockerill-Mechanique (with a capital of ~2 billion Belgian francs) became a 100% owned subsidiary of that group as Cockerill Mechanical Industries. The company was one of the more profitable parts of the group, and it was planned to sell the company as part of the dismantling of Cockerill-Sambre, but the plan was not carried out.[4] The company remained a division of Cockerill-Sambre (and its successor Usinor) until 2002, when it was sold to private investors.[5]

In 2004, the company was renamed Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie (CMI),[5] then it changed back to its original name John Cockerill in May 2019.[6]

Activities and products[edit]

Cockerill 105 HP Gun

The company's primary business is in metal mechanical engineering with emphasis on machinery related to or using in steelworks; maintenance, refurbishment and repair of equipment is also part of the companies business.

The industry sub-division manufactures equipment for steel coil treatment including pickling, annealing, hot dip and electro galvanising lines, rolling mills and reheating furnaces for the steel industry.,[7] as well as shunting locomotives.[8]

The energy sub-division products include heat recovery steam generator and boilers.[9] In the late 2000s the company developed high temperature solar receivers for solar power station, with the first installation in 2014 as part of the Khi Solar One power station at Upington, South Africa.[10]

The defence sub-division's primary products are 90mm guns and turrets for light armoured vehicles.[11][12][13]


NGOs raised concerns about the validity of the licenses authorising the company to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, given the involvement of this country in a conflict with Yemen.[14] A consortium of journalists said they found evidence that Saudi Arabia is using some of these weapons in this conflict.[15]


  1. ^ Belgian company CMI becomes John Cockerill again
  2. ^ John Cockerill et Cie
  3. ^ "CMI defence : History".
  4. ^ Yves Mény; Vincent Wright (1987). The Politics of steel: Western Europe and the steel industry in the crisis years (1974-1984). Walter de Gruyter. pp. 726, 748. ISBN 9783110105179.
  5. ^ a b "History : From John Cockerill to CMI".
  6. ^ "CMI becomes John Cockerill (again)" (Press release). John Cockerill. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  7. ^ "CMI Industry : Equipment".
  8. ^ "CMI industry : Locomotives".
  9. ^ "CMI energy : Horizontal and Vertical HRSGs" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2011.
  10. ^ "The first CMI Energy thermal-solar boiler will power the Upington (South Africa) plant", (Press Release), 22 May 2012
  11. ^ "CMI defence : sector profile".
  12. ^ CMI Defence CSE90 Weapon System turret (90mm)
  13. ^ CMI Defence CT-CV® Weapon System (105 mm) Turret gun 105 120 mm
  14. ^ "Saudi ship in Antwerp port sparks arms exports concerns". The Brussels Times. 2019-05-06. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  15. ^ News, Flanders (2019-05-08). ""Saudis using Belgian weapons in Yemen"". Retrieved 2019-08-13.

External links[edit]