Our previous investments in digital solutions meant we were prepared to deliver services remotely, both in terms of technology and in establishing, in co-operation with the involved flags, the regulatory framework to support this approach.
The marine part of the RINA business met 2020
targets that were revised in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We
successfully limited the impact of the pandemic, exceeding the target margin
and growing revenue from 2019 by 6%, closing the year at €135M.
A leader in digital solutions
Although a challenging year for everyone, 2020 showed the resilience of our marine business. Our previous investment in digital solutions meant we were prepared to deliver services remotely, both in terms of technology and in establishing, in co-operation with the involved flags, the regulatory framework to support this approach. During 2020, our remote survey capability enabled us to continue to serve our clients when surveyors could not be present on a vessel. Indeed, we were the first classification society worldwide to complete a statutory survey completely remotely.
Alongside navigating the pandemic, the use of
IT technologies and tools (e.g. drones, hand-held
tablets and wearables) has proven that remote
inspections and services if applied in a controlled and conscious way and with a risk-based approach can ensure at least the same level of effectiveness than traditional ones, while enhancing surveyors’ safety in those cases where in-person inspection is difficult (e.g. in case of remote locations and inaccessible environments) or potentially unsafe (e.g. in confined or hazardous spaces).
As well as quickly adjusting to deliver services in new ways, the agility of RINA’s marine and certification businesses was reflected in the quick time to market of the new Biosafety Trust Certification. This was developed following the conversion of a Ro-Ro passenger ship into a hospital ship in Genoa to support the medical fight against COVID-19. The new scheme is designed to specifically mitigate the risk of infection on board ships and is a valuable tool to help get facilities up and running again as the pandemic subsides. A new additional Class Notation Biosafe Ship was also launched.
Increasing sustainability and decarbonization
Decarbonization is a key focus for ship owners and classification societies. RINA works with ship designers to verify the compliance with the applicable rules of dual-fuel vessels and of novel concept designs incorporating new fuels, such as hydrogen or ammonia.
However, we also work to increase efficiency levels, which directly equates to fewer emissions. One of the most important tools for optimization is RINA’s digital
solution for performance ship management, Optimum. This provides real-time monitoring to identify areas where efficiency can
be increased. In 2020, the take-up of this solution
increased significantly with now over 250 ships
using this tool. As the number of ships and the volume of data increases, this enables deeper analysis and insights to help further increase efficiency.
The new fleet operation centre in Piraeus became fully operational in 2020, strengthening our presence in Greece. This centre supports a full range of life cycle competencies and will allow the society to manage RINA classed vessels even more accurately and efficiently all over the world. We have also strengthened our presence and local competencies in other areas, including China to support the build of value-add vessels in this region.
Alongside the advancement in our digital capability and pioneering remote survey and inspection, which both help increase sustainability and supported our resilience through the adversity of 2020, one of the highlights of the year was reaching a fleet of 50M GT, with the highest growth of all class societies.
Our new build business was strong, with the delivery of several new vessels including the LNG-fuelled Carnival Group flagship, Mardi Gras, and eco-friendly ships for the Grimaldi Group. We further signed several important contracts for new builds, including three luxury cruise liners which will be built by Fincantieri for MSC Cruises and two Ro-Pax vessels that will be built in China for the Finnlines fleet.
Our Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) service to meet mandatory IMO and EU regulations, launched at the end of 2019. In 2020, we provided this service to more than 800 ships, making it a significant contributing factor to our success.
Changing the face of shipping for the future
We still face challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021. Having forced a complete stop to cruise activities in 2020, there are some hopes that the cruise market will restart around the middle of 2021 and we will be ready to support this.
In 2021 and beyond, we see a global reduction in new build activity as ship owners wait to see which technologies will lead the path to
decarbonization. To this end, we will continue
supporting compliance with regulations but also
meeting the challenges of the future, at the heart of which are decarbonization and digitalisation, where RINA is strong because of its work across different industries in new energy, decarbonization and sustainability. We will push the value of data in the industry and, through AI and machine learning, use it to deliver even greater efficiencies and value to our customers.
Leading the way in remote technology
RINA had started work with remote surveys in 2019. With the outbreak of COVID-19, this service became a critical tool for business continuation. The Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR) approved the use of RINA’s remote technology for inspections of Liberian flagged vessels with the additional class notation ‘Remote’. The first fully remote statutory and associated class intermediate surveys, including hull and machinery inspections, were successfully completed on the bulk carrier Cielo di Gaspesie, owned by the d’Amico Group.
Between November 2020 and March 2021, RINA supported MSC with the qualification of its proposed security solution through a systematic process covering description of the technology, operational conditions and limitations, functional requirements, safety, reliability, availability, maintainability, codes and standards and technology assessment.
New Inventory of Hazardous Materials service proving a global success
Starting in March 2020 and still ongoing, RINA has been contracted by Carnival Corporation Fleet to certify the inventory of hazardous materials (IHM) on board all the group’s 85 vessels, only 18 of which are classed by RINA. RINA displayed its competencies to deliver a high-quality service in a timely manner to this global operator, employing exclusive surveyors and haz/mat experts.
A project developed by GNV together with RINA to assist coronavirus patients and increase the hospital capacity of Liguria. Amid the coronavirus emergency, on behalf of the regional health care authority of Liguria, the ferry liner GNV reconverted its ferry passenger vessel into a facility fully equipped to assist COVID-19 patients under quarantine, and patients during convalescence. The project was the brainchild of GNV of the MSC group, together with RINA, in strict cooperation with the Liguria Health Care Service and Civil Defense, and the ship was successfully sent into action in a short space of time.
The first of 12 hybrid ro-ro ships belonging to the new Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G) class and ordered from the Chinese Jinlingi, the cargo vessel Eco Valencia was delivered to RINA class. The ship has a length of 238 metres and is be able to transport over 7,800 lane meters of rolling units, equivalent to above 500 trailers. In addition to classifying the ship, RINA assigned her the additional “Green Plus” class notation, the top RINA certification in the field of environmental sustainability. The "Green Plus" recognizes the design solutions, on-board systems and operational procedures put in place voluntarily, both during the construction phase and during the operation of the ship, aimed at improving environmental performance beyond the minimum levels required by the relevant international regulations. The vessel features 600m² of solar panels, large-capacity batteries to achieve zero emissions in port, a peak shaving system and an air lubrication system.
Working at the heart of the yachting industry
At the beginning of October 2020, RINA started a cooperation with Ferretti Group in US for the supervision of all their mega yachts repair and retrofitting activities in Florida. This is a strategic agreement as it positions RINA in one of the world capitals of the yachting industry.
New records for an Italian Icebreaker
In 2020 RINA issued the first Polar Class certificate to an Italian flagged ship. The Laura Bassi, owned by the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS), has reached the southernmost point on Earth in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, ever reached by an Italian vessel. Its sampling activities in this area were at depths close to the seabed and preliminary analysis of data revealed water mass at -2°C, the lowest temperature recorded to date.
Strong performance in the naval sector
During 2020, the Liguria region confirmed itself as the heart of the naval ship business based on the number and variety of project, ranging from small patrol vessels to the Landing Helicopter Deck (LHD) ITS Trieste. Alongside this LHD, other major projects intended for the Italian Navy include seven Multipurpose Patrol Vessels (PPA) and a Logistic Support Ship (LSS). For the Qatari Navy, projects include four Corvettes, two Offshore Patrol Vessels and a Landing Platform Dock (LPD).
In 2020, we also classified mine countermeasure vessels for the Algerian Navy, delivering the second, and delivered one FREMM Frigate (out of two) to the Egyptian Navy.
Significant increase in yachting fleet
During 2020, 90 yachts were delivered to RINA class, totalling more than 32.000 meters, with an average length of 35 meters. This means the RINA yachts classed fleet stands at 1,030 vessels with a total of around 300,000 GT at the end of 2020. Deliveries were taken from Italian yards (Azinut Benetti, Ferretti, CRN, Italian Sea Group, Fratelli Rossi, Fipa, Baglietto and others), UK (Sunseeker, Princess), Turkey (Turquoise, Numarine, Venture Yacht), UAE (Gulf Craft) and the Netherlands (Van Der Valk, Lynx).
The acquisition projects include yachts over 500 GT, for builders like Fratelli Rossi, Italian or Logica Yachts, and a remarkable number of yachts over 50 metres for Azimut Benetti, Bilgin Yatcilik, CRN, Cantiere Vittoria, Palumbo Superyacht, Mengi Yat, and Cantiere delle Marche.
During 2020, 267 new vessels totalling 1.2 million GT were delivered to RINA class, comprising 164 merchant, 13 navy and 90 yachts. These included: Mardì Gras, LNG fuelled cruise ship for Carnival Corporation; Costa Firenze, cruise ship for Costa Crociere; Eco Valencia, hybrid Ro-Ro cargo for Grimaldi; Grande Florida, Grande New Jersey, Grande Houston, PCCT for Grimaldi; Silver Moon, luxury cruise ship for Silversea; Histria Dione, Oil Chem Tanker, GT 26.310, for Histria Shipmanagement.