Click on image for a full screen view

Burlington Ship Canal, Aug. 17, 2008.

John McCreery

Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Hamilton Energy

By George Wharton

Launched as the small coastal tanker Partington; this vessel was built in 1965 by Grangemouth Dockyard Co. Ltd., Grangemouth, Scotland as their hull # 535 for Shell Mex and B.P. Ltd., London, UK entering service in December of that year.  She sailed along the coast of England and in 1979 was renamed Shell Scientist after her ownership was transferred to Shell Tankers (UK) Ltd., London, UK. The Shell Scientist crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Canada in 1981 and was renamed Metro Sun at that time for the Metro Oil Co., Halifax NS.  The small tanker arrived at Montreal, QC on her maiden voyage in her new service on November 14, 1981 and began trading along the St. Lawrence River and the Canadian east coast.  In 1982, the tanker's ownership was changed to Shediac Coastal Carrier Corp. also of Halifax, NS.  The Metro Sun saw only limited service and laid up at Halifax in mid-1984.

Provmar Fuels Inc., Hamilton, ON brought the single-hulled tanker to the Great Lakes in 1985 and had her refitted as a refueling tanker from April to June of that year below Lock 1 of the Welland Canal, St. Catherines, ON.  Provmar Fuels Inc. was formed in 1984 as a joint venture between ULS International (Upper Lakes Group, Toronto, ON) and Canada Steamship Lines following the identification of the need for marine bunkering in Hamilton Harbour and western Lake Ontario.  June 11, 1985 saw the refitted tanker depart for Hamilton under the new name of Hamilton Energy.  The Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier Simcoe was her first customer when she officially entered service on June 17.  The Hamilton Energy provided bunkering services to domestic and foreign flagged ships along the western end of Lake Ontario from Oshawa, ON to the northern end of the Welland Canal.  In 1993, Provmar Fuels became a wholly owned division of Upper Lakes Group, Inc., Toronto, ON.

The Hamilton Energy was originally powered by a 6-cylinder  Polar Atlas MN16 diesel engine of 1,120 b.h.p. (824 KW) built by British Polar Engines Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland.  The power was fed to a single fixed pitch propeller.  The small tanker is equipped with a bow thruster.  Her liquid cargo is contained in 8 tanks where she is capable of carrying up to 1,260 tons (1,280 mt) of bunkering fuel made up of 768 tons (780 mt) of bunker heavy fuel oil (HFO) and 492 tons (500 mt) of marine diesel oil at a mid-summer draft of 13' 10" (4.21m).

On December 11, 1993 while moored at her berth alongside the oil barge Provmar Terminal at the Port of Hamilton's Pier 24, the Hamilton Energy was struck by the salty Nirja.  The Nirja was attempting to dock at Pier 23 with the assistance of 3 tugs in high winds and failed to negotiate the turn into the slip.  There was some damage to all vessels and the wharf.  The tanker was privileged to provide bunkering services on April 15, 1996 to the Royal Yacht H.M.S. Britannia at Toronto, ON upon the Royal Yacht's last visit to the Great Lakes.  The Hamilton Energy delivered bunker fuel to Canada Steamship Line's new bulk self-unloader CSL Niagara on July 23, 1999 before her departure from Port Weller Dry Docks on her maiden voyage.

An incident similar to 1993 occurred again on April 1, 2001 with more serious damages.  The docking of Provmar Fuels' barges and the Hamilton Energy at Pier 24 had been modified as a result of the 1993 incident.  Again, the small tanker was moored alongside the barge Provmar Terminal when the vessel was rammed in the stern, port side by the loaded salty Utiviken as it was attempting to negotiate the turn into Pier 23.  The tanker instantly heeled over to port 60 - 70 degrees submerging the main deck port railing and, partially sunk, was set adrift dead-ship into harbour after her mooring cables parted.  The McKeil tug Paul E No.1, one of the tugs assisting the Utiviken, quickly proceeded to assist the stricken tanker.  Extensive damage resulted with stern plates being pushed in, the propeller bent, the rudder post broken and the propeller shaft pushed through the gearbox into and destroying the engine block.  The barge Provmar Terminal was sunk by the stern.  The Utiviken received damage to the bulbous bow which flooded the forepeak tank.  After temporary repairs were made, the Hamilton Energy finished the 2001 season as a bunkering barge being tended to by McKeil tug Glenevis.

At the conclusion of the 2001 season, the Hamilton Energy was taken to Port Weller Dry Docks for permanent repairs.  The tanker was repowered with a General Motors EMD 12-645-E6 V-12 cylinder, naturally aspirated 2 stroke cycle diesel engine rated at 1,500 b.h.p. (1,104 KW).  The 1971 built engine had been remanufactured in 2001 by NREC Power Systems, Houma, LA under Lloyd's supervision.  The engine was mated to a Scana Volda controlled pitch propeller system with 3.06:1 reduction.  A stern thruster was installed and the vessel's 5 year drydock survey was also completed.  On March 19, 2002, after successful sea trials were completed and adjustments made, the Hamilton Energy departed for Hamilton and a return to service.  The Hamilton Energy continues to sail under the Provmar Fuel banner providing essential bunkering services to vessels in western Lake Ontario and the lower end of the Welland Canal.


Overall Dimensions (metric)
 Length  201' 05" (61.39m)
 Beam  34' 01" (10.39m)
 Depth  14' 09" (4.50m)
 Capacity (mid-summer)  1,260 tons (1,280 mt)
 at a draft of 13' 10" (4.21m)
 Power (diesel)  1,500 b.h.p.(1,104 KW)

9-hamen-4-02-10-pb.jpg (103588 bytes)
Arriving at the Welland Canal below Lock 1,
Apr. 2, 2010. Paul Beesley
10-hamen-4-02-10-pb.jpg (114624 bytes)
Bunkering the Maritime Trader, Apr. 2, 2010.
Paul Beesley
5-hamen-4-18-10-pb.jpg (104933 bytes)
Bunkering the J.W. Shelley, Apr. 18, 2010.
Paul Beesley
3-csl-30-05-09-mg-a.jpg (77030 bytes)
Bunkering the CSL Assiniboine below Lock 1,
May 30, 2009. Michael Gosselin
1-Henergy-07-27-2009-eh.jpg (64471 bytes)
Outbound the Burlington Ship Canal, July 27, 2009.
Eric Holmes
2-Hamenergy-07-27-2009-eh.jpg (92394 bytes)
Into Lake Ontario.
Eric Holmes

At her berth at Provmar Fuels,
Hamilton, ON

Tied outside of barges Provmar Terminal
 & Provmar Terminal II, Mar. 11, 2007.
Eric Holmes

Approaching the Michipicoten in
Hamilton Harbour, May 4, 2007.
John McCreery

 Bunkering the Atlantic Huron at Toronto, ON,
Mar. 30, 2008. Gerry Ouderkirk

Bunkering the Edward L. Ryerson at the Dofasco
dock at Hamilton, Apr. 12, 2008.
John McCreery

Bunkering the tanker Clipper Legend off
the Port Weller Piers in Lake Ontario,
Aug. 23, 2008. David Bull

Another view. David Bull
3-Pineglen-HamEn-4-2-09-jm.jpg (71801 bytes)
Bunkering the Pineglen at Hamilton,
Apr. 2, 2009. John McCreery

Fueling the John D. Leitch at Dofasco,
Hamilton, ON, June 21, 2008. John McCreery

Entering the Burlington Ship Canal,
Aug. 17, 2008. John McCreery

Stern view into Hamilton Harbour.
John McCreery

Leaving Hamilton bound for the Welland Canal,
Dec. 13, 2008. John McCreery

Return to Marine Historical Society of Detroit     Marine Historical Society of Detroit Photo Gallery

Copyright Marine Historical Society of Detroit. All Rights Reserved.
0610 GW