In response to the EU master plan and the increased interest in the use of LNG as a fuel, RINA plans to launch the company’s Gas Center of Excellence. It said that this initiative will gather together the experience from RINA’s gas experts across the group including D’Appolonia, CSM, RINA Services.

The EU master plan aims to develop framework conditions for the use of LNG on ships in the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea areas. This plan will lower transport costs and reducing CO2, NOx and SOx emissions, in conjunction with greening the transport corridors and using LNG as an alternative to marine bunkers, according to RINA.

The classification company’s gas expertise, which covers Test, Inspection and Certification (TIC) and Consulting Engineering services including CSM, which is focused on special steel alloys, will be “virtually” based in Italy, Greece and Northern Europe. As the center will be virtual, RINA said it will have the flexibility to deliver services globally, thereby helping the industry address the particular needs of utilizing gas as a green fuel source. This specialist knowledge has already led to the classification of four LNG fuelled cruise vessels. And two EU projects are under development (GAINN4CORE and GAINN4MOS), which aim to support the use of LNG as fuel.

Paolo Moretti, RINA’s marine general manager said, “This initiative brings together the global gas expertise amalgamating the competencies from within the group. RINA Services will provide classification and inspection, particularly of vessels and offshore and onshore terminals. Experts from CSM will provide advice on materials. D’Appolonia are actively providing engineering consulting around the design, construction and management of LNG terminals. Operating LNG ships and terminals demands significant training so the RINA Academy, as part of our Gas Center of Excellence, has developed both basic and advanced LNG fuel courses, in line with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) requirements”.