Longwy was shaped by the steel industry more radically than any other city in Europe.
Now its last production site of this era is disappearing.
Until the early 1960s, Hauts Fourneaux et Forges de Saulnes et Gorcy was a pure pig iron producer with two production sites in Saulnes and in Hussigny-Godbrange, 5 km away.
The company operated 4 blast furnaces and 3 electric arc furnaces for the production of ferrous alloys.
Due to growing overcapacities on the European pig iron market, the management decided at that time to build a fully continuous wire rod mill in neighbouring Herserange to process part of its iron production there.
In the lack of their own facilities, steel production was to take place in the Thomas steelworks of Lorraine-Escaut in Senelle, 4 km south.
For this purpose, a blast furnace was converted in Saulnes to produce Thomas pig iron and a liquid transport system was set up. The blast furnaces in Hussigny were shut down in 1964.
The steel produced in Senelle from the Saulnes iron was rolled into billets and then finished in Herserange. In return, Lorraine-Escaut was allowed to use half the capacity (30.000 t/m) of the new rolling mill itself.
In June 1964, the first billet was rolled into wire rod in the new plant.
The rolling mill had 7 roughing, 10 intermediate and 16 finishing stands.
In 1966, Usinor took over Soc. des Forges de Saulnes et Gorcy and merged it with its ironworks in Uckange to form Hauts Fourneaux Réunis de Saulnes et Uckange.
Since Lorraine-Escaut was also taken over by Usinor in the same year, the new wire mill could now be attached to the plant in Senelle.
The Saulnes blast furnaces were shut down for good in 1968 and iron production was shifted to Uckange. Only one electric furnace was still in operation until 1991.
The wire mill was taken over in 1984 by Unimetal, now the long products division of Usinor-Sacilor, and shut down in December 1998.