VONK’s history starts in 1937, when Mr Arjen Vonk started a transistor radio supply & repair shop in Coevorden, Netherlands. The roots of VONK today were planted when shortly after WW2, Shell started development of nearby discovered oil- and gasfields and Mr Vonk shifted from radio’s to engineering and providing electrical solutions & services to that burgeoning industry.
Quickly developing its reputation for innovation and reliability, Shell engineers were quick to turn to VONK for help from other locations around the world, too. Facing difficult conditions in remote locations, VONK was one of the first to pioneer prefabrication of E&I solutions (instead of on-site construction) – initially in wooden crates later steel containers. These containerised solutions or containerised buildings, also known as substations, are now industry standard and still part of VONK’s business today.
VONK continued to grow, internationally (taking on larger complex projects) but also developing a significant generic E&I contracting business in the Netherlands. Latter business is characterised by high volume-low margins and this business saw a wave of consolidation in the 1980’s. When Mr Vonk decided to retire in 1989, he sold his company (several hundred employees at the time) to Internatio-Möller, the predecessor of Royal Imtech, a multi-billion listed E&I contracting conglomerate. VONK’s local E&I contracting business was integrated into Imtech E&I business whilst VONK’s core international project business continued as separate business unit Imtech VONK.