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Live From Posidonia 2016
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Ugo Salerno (right) with Tim Dunn of Edif backer Phoenix Equity Partners

RINA forms Gas Centre of Excellence

Responding to the growing interest in use of LNG as a marine fuel, RINA Group has announced the launch of a Gas Centre of Excellence comprising a team of some 40 LNG experts drawn from different companies within the group and based in locations across the globe.

The initiative amalgamates RINA’s global gas expertise, including classification and inspection from RINA Services, advice on materials from CSM and engineering consultancy on LNG distribution from D’Appolonia, explained Angelo Lo Nigro, project development manager for services for engineering, at a Posidonia press breakfast.

The “virtual” centre, based mainly in Italy, Greece and Northern Europe, will be able to deliver services across the globe.

“RINA is really at the forefront of this technology in the world,” added RINA ceo Ugo Salerno, pointing out that the group’s specialist knowledge was already being employed by the Carnival group with the classification of four 6,600 passenger cruise vessels being built by Meyer Werft in Germany and Finland.

The group’s geographical reach and overall competencies were recently expanded with the acquisition of Edif Group, which includes the ERA engineering consultancy and the NDE testing, inspection and certification business. Following the buyout Private Equity will hold some 25% of the group.

“I think the acquisition fits perfectly with our strategy of growth,” said Salerno, increasing RINA’s presence in the US and UK. By year end the combined group will reach a turnover of around EUR500m, “so we’re getting to a size that is of interest to stock markets,” he said, indicating that an eventual listing in Milan or London might be on the cards.

In Marine business RINA currently classes some 5,200 vessels of more than 37m gt, including 360 newbuildings delivered with RINA class in 2015, a number expected to dip somewhat but still remain over 300 in 2016.

Regarding oil & gas, business has dipped somewhat because of reduced capex by oil companies, Salerno conceded, but this has been compensated for by increased opex activities including oil inspection business and services such as lifetime extension and decommissioning. “I am confident that sooner or later capex will start again,” he concluded.

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