A visualisation of the Megafactory in Charleroi , Source: City of Charleroi

Coming soon: 500 satellites a year made in Charleroi, Belgium

Coming soon: 500 satellites a year made in Charleroi, Belgium

The Megafactory is expected to start production in the first quarter of 2025

Today, authorities in the Belgian city of Charleroi announced they have granted a construction permit to Aerospacelab. Last June, the company unveiled plans to construct one of the biggest satellite manufacturing facilities in Europe.

This development is a big deal for Charleroi as it is one of Belgium’s most prominent former coal regions, which has been under the pressure of changing attitudes towards polluting fuels and industry. Aerospacelab promises to bring at least 500 jobs to the area and the potential for growth through auxiliary industries.

A tight schedule with a lot of promise

The Aerospacelab factory in Charleroi is supposed to start operations in the first quarter of 2025 with a yearly production capacity of 500 satellites. It would also have 2,000 square meters dedicated to laboratories.

For comparison, the company‘s current operating facility Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, has an estimated production capacity of 24 satellites. Benoît Deper, CEO and founder of Aerospacelab, was quoted in a press statement, explaining that aerospace manufacturing has taken a tip from the car industry and is now striving for a streamlined and standardized process, where similar components can be customized.

A community effort

Belgian State Secretary for Digitalisation, Mathieu Michel explained that Aurospacelab, which started out as a start-up just a few years ago, has transformed into a source of pride for Wallonia, Belgium and Europe. As he put it, they offer a lot in terms of innovation, digital sovereignty and strategic autonomy for the whole region. 

At the same time, Charleroi’s Mayor Paul Magnette has been trying to raise the city’s profile since he was elected in 2012. This includes a centre for scientific teaching as well as opening an airport. Mayor Magnette went on to social media to comment on the Aerospacelab news by claiming that the city’s economic redevelopment strategy with the Catch Plan had paid off.



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