I thought the Henty Provider seen arriving at Heysham in October to bunker Seatruck’s Clipper Point looked a workmanlike and colourful member of an interesting fleet operated by the relatively young, at 25 years, Liverpool company Henty Oil. The fleet consists of a mix of well built vessels from some respected British Yards and others with a continental background for exotic variety.
Henty opened the UK’s then largest purpose built bunker terminal at the Port of Liverpool in 2002 following a £1.5 million investment to deliver six 3,000 tonne heated tanks at Huskisson Dock. At Liverpool largely by barge Henty has been supplying over 200,000 tonnes per annum of bunkers, upto 75 per cent of the port’s needs. More recently they have been upgrading their tanker fleet.
Henty Provider 560gt,’74 was purchased some two years ago as the Thames Rapid reportedly having been originally built at Appledore as the Sheppey to serve several Thames depots from Shellhaven. Changing commercial agreements between the oil companies meant she became BP Rapid then the depots closed and she was sold on to become Thames Rapid for Bulas Tankships for whom she was carrying vegetable oils.
She is said to be in good order for her age. As built she was strengthened for taking the ground in the Thames mud and double sided for protection when colliding with London bridges. Henty fitted a double bottom and adapted her for coastal bunkering service so that now besides Heysham she can be seen at various ports including Clydeport, Belfast and Port Talbot. She is said to be a good sea boat.
Another vessel to be seen bunkering around the Mersey estuary Henty Progress was formally Harker’s Deepdale H 385,’65 built by Cooks of Wivenhoe. Recently Henty diversified into longer distance coastal movements by acquiring the former Blackfriars 992,’85 of Crescent Shipping, built in Denmark by Nordsjovaerftet. Renamed Henty Pioneer she has been working in Scottish waters as well as on the East Coast. The fourth vessel still active I believe is Stanley H 500,’71. The smaller tankers Albert T 300,’69 and Little Jack 250,’69 are laid up and may not be required to work again.
Good to see some thrusting business energy and commercial spirit resulting in work for vessels of character.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - December 2009 Issue