Howden acquires Thomassen Compression Systems

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Howden has announced that it has agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of Thomassen Compression Systems BV ("Thomassen"). The combination of Howden and Thomassen creates a global company capable of supplying a comprehensive range of hydrogen compressors including a full suite of piston compressors with capability up to 25MW and 600 bar and diaphragm compressors with capability up to 3000 bar. This is expected to bring market opportunities not currently available to either company. Significant benefits will come from Howden’s ability to extend Thomassen’s presence in China and other markets where sales have been limited, and from Thomassen sharing access to Howden’s global sourcing capabilities. 

Howden designs, engineers and supplies air and gas handling equipment including industrial fans, process gas compressors and rotary heat exchangers. The compressor range, which includes screw, centrifugal turbo, diaphragm and horizontal piston compressors, is an increasingly important part of Howden’s global portfolio. Accounting for over 15% of its £562 million turnover in 2010, Howden’s compressors are used for a variety of applications, especially in the oil & gas and petrochemical industries. 


Thomassen, based in the Netherlands, focuses on the design, assembly, installation and servicing of custom-made horizontal piston compressors. Like the Howden range, these compressors are highly-engineered, large scale products, but with pressures up to 600 bar and power capability up to 25MW they are designed for high power applications, primarily in the oil refining and petrochemical industries.

In recent years, Thomassen’s main markets have been across Europe, the Middle and Far East, Russia, Africa and South America. The company has approximately 300 employees mainly based in the Netherlands with the remainder located in service centres and sales offices around the world. The primary application for high specification horizontal piston compressors is the compression of hydrogen.

Both Howden and Thomassen are leaders in this market with Howden’s range and experience being primarily for lower powers of up to 1MW (megawatt) and Thomassen’s range and experience being for higher power ranges. Thomassen will continue to operate from its premises at Rheden as a stand-alone business within Howden.

The senior management team, led by Managing Director Frans Bisseling, has indicated that they intend to stay with the company following the acquisition and Thomassen’s integration into the Howden group will be overseen by a team led by Bob Cleland (Howden Chief Executive) and Ian Brander (Howden Operations Director).