Whessoe – Delivering over 200 years of innovation and excellence

As a well established, vastly experienced and multi-disciplinary contractor, Whessoe combines proven technology, quality and safety with global capabilities in design, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning, to deliver comprehensive and value-engineered solutions to customers in the hydrocarbon, petrochemical and energy industries.


Whessoe has an engineering and contracting pedigree dating back over 200 years, with involvement in areas across the world as diverse as process plants, oil rigs, nuclear reactors, hydro-electric power plants, etc.

1790 - William Kitching & Sons Founded

Company Registered in Darlington, UK, by William Kitching and Sons.

Originally founded in 1790, Darlington UK, the business established a successful foundry and engineering works to take a significant role in the nascent railway, gasworks and steel construction industries throughout the 19th century.

1825 - Railways Contractor

Key Contractor to the railways, including the manufacture of rolling stock.

1845 - Derwent Locomotive

Derwent Locomotive designed and built for the Stockton & Darlington Railway at a cost of £1,160. It has been restored and rests in the Darlington Railway Museum.


"Derwent" was designed by Timothy Hackworth and built by W. & A. Kitching in Darlington, England in 1845.

“Derwent” was designed by Timothy Hackworth and built by W. & A. Kitching in Darlington, England in 1845.

1862 - Charles I’Anson Takes Control

Changes are made as the Railway Foundry was sold to N.E.R and control was transferred to Charles Ianson. Demand for locomotion orders drop as the business focuses on structural work.

1890 - Whessoe Foundry Company Formed

Whessoe Foundry Company Limited was formed with the business now concentrating in the growing gas and petroleum industry. The first major order was for a 3,000,000 m cubic feet gas holder at Gateshead. Further gas holders and associated plant were built in Australia & New Zealand, France, Canada and Denmark.

In 1890 the Whessoe Foundry Company Limited was formed, and in 1920 the company was publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange as Whessoe Foundry and Engineering Co Ltd, Shell acquired 51% of the shares. From 1890 onwards the company became focused on equipment for the gas and oil industries, such as gas holders, as well as making tunnel linings for underground railways, and later expanded into equipment for the nuclear and petrochemical industries. Read more on Wikipedia

1920 - Whessoe Floated on UK Stock Exchange

Whessoe is floated on the UK Stock Exchange. Major involvement with the petrochemical, gas and nuclear power generating industries.


The company expanded into the growing gas and petroleum industries over the turn of the century as a fabricator of tanks, vessels and plant, forming The Whessoe Foundry and Engineering Co. Ltd in 1920.


Whessoe’s pioneering work continued with the rapid expansion of the oil industry, as the company designed and built some of the largest storage tanks in the world. These achievements lead to a crucial role in the UK’s early nuclear power industry with the design and fabrication of 22 steel reactor pressure vessels and steel membranes for concrete reactor vessels.

1959 - Whessoe Designs & Builds World’s First Commercial LNG Import Terminal

Whessoe designed and built the world’s first commercial LNG import terminal and regasification plant with the design of vertical double-walled storage tanks at Canvey Island in the UK to store natural gas imported from Algeria.


In the intervening years, the company has since established a reputation as a world leader in the storage and handling of liquefied gases in cryogenic, low temperature and pressurised forms.

1990 - Company Reformed to Specialise in Liquid Gas Storage

Separated from Whessoe PLC, the company was reformed to operate worldwide, specialising in refrigerated and pressurised liquid gas storage facilities, from concept through to commissioning.

1995 - Bought by Preussag AG & Noell Whessoe Formed

Whessoe was sold by Whessoe PLC to Preussag AG of Germany, which integrated the company with Noell GmbH to form Noell Whessoe.  Four years later Preussag AG closed down the German offices in Hamburg and Remagen and transferred all the tankage business to Darlington in the UK as Whessoe International Ltd.

2000 - Bought by Kvaerner Construction Ltd & Becomes Skanska Whessoe

Kvaerner Construction Ltd bought Whessoe International Ltd as part of Kvaerner’s strategic plan to provide full in-house expertise in the design and build of LNG terminals.


Subsequently in 2001, Skanska bought Kvaerner Construction Ltd, which included Whessoe International Ltd, and continued to develop the capability of the renamed company – Skanska Whessoe – to undertake major projects in liquefied gas storage and distribution worldwide.

2004 - Acquired by Al-Rushaid & Operates as Whessoe Oil & Gas Ltd

Whessoe was acquired by the Al-Rushaid Group, the largest oil and gas service company in the Middle East, operating under the name of Whessoe Oil & Gas Limited.

2005 - Moves in to Morton Palms

Whessoe becomes the anchor tenant on the Morton Palms business park development. The move of the head office location is to accommodate the increase in staff numbers.

2007 - Projects in Middle East, Europe & India

Whessoe operates worldwide with major projects in the Middle East, Europe and India.

2013 - Acquired by Samsung C&T Corporation – Whessoe Engineering Ltd Formed

Whessoe acquired by Samsung C&T Corporation; offering fully integrated solutions including LNG across the globe.

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