The current source thyristor inverter is still today a suitable choice for supplying high power adjustable speed drives for pumps or compressors. This paper presents a 12-pulse LCI (load commutated inverter) synchronous drive for a 20 MW compressor, it focuses on the following main aspects: modeling of the complete drive system, numerical simulation and comparison between calculated and measured values of the pulsating torque components in steady-state operations. The modeling of the six-phase synchronous motor is obtained by using a new virtual test-platform for large electrical machines. The pulsating torque components are measured in real time with a digital transient torque measurement device.