Chesterfield Special Cylinders, the cornerstone of the Group at IPO, has been a leader in the design, development and manufacture of high pressure seamless steel gas cylinders for over 100 years. Its origins trace back to The Universal Weldless Steel Tube Company Limited, which was formed in London in 1897 and later acquired in 1906 by Chesterfield Tube Company Limited. A succession of corporate owners saw the business at the forefront of all major technical advances in seamless steel cylinders throughout the 20th century. In 2004 John Hayward (Chief Executive of Pressure Technologies plc 2007 – 2018), led a management buy-out backed by South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund and Yorkshire & Humber Equity Fund, and renamed the business Chesterfield Special Cylinders.
As part of the MBO plan, the business was relocated from its historical Chesterfield home to a 100,000 sq ft factory on 4.4 acres adjacent to the M1 in Sheffield. The move was completed in 2005 at a cost of around £1.5 million. Chesterfield Special Cylinders was re-engineered on the new site with a more efficient plant layout, to increase productivity and greatly improve production capacity.
In 2007 Pressure Technologies was established and listed on the London Stock Exchange’s growth market, AIM. Since then the Group has grown by acquisition, expanding into specialist precision machining with the acquisitions of Al-Met, Roota Engineering, Quadscot Precision Engineers and Martract to form the Precision Machined Components Division.
The Group diversified into the alternative energy market in 2008 through a cooperative agreement with Greenlane Biogas, to supply biogas upgrading equipment in the UK. In 2014 it went on to acquire the worldwide business of Greenlane Biogas, creating an instant worldwide presence for the Group in the growing biogas upgrading market. Recognising the opportunity for this business in North America, Greenlane was spun out via a sale and listed on Canada’s Venture Exchange, TSX-V, with Pressure Technologies retaining a 21% holding.