Message from the Executive Chairman

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has been on a strong growth path in the last few years despite inclement market conditions. Apart from our growing global footprint and growth in tonnage, we continue to gain recognition from leading maritime flag administrations worldwide.

IRClass contributes to maritime safety and regulation through high quality technical support, compliance verification supported by well-funded in-house research & innovation centre.

IRClass has developed capabilities across a wide range of verticals including Marine, Offshore, Defence, Marine Technical Services, Industrial Inspection, Management Systems Certification and Maritime Education & Training.

Protection of environment is an important Class role and IRClass leads the way in maintaining a sustainable maritime ecosystem by providing technical support to the industry in their decarbonization efforts.

Our newbuilding activities are also growing at a steady pace worldwide and we are also engaged in key conversion projects in the offshore sector.

Being a ‘Preferred Partner’ to the Indian Navy we are actively involved in several Defence projects for Indian Navy as well as Coast Guard. We have bagged several prestigious newbuilding projects like Diving Support Vessels, Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes, Large Survey vessels, Naval Offshore Patrol vessels cadet training ships.

We are also working with several state governments in India for development and promotion of Inland Waterways projects in India as against high-cost and high-emission road and rail options.

With the IMO ambition of having a minimum 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, shifting to newer fuels will perhaps be one of the largest challenges faced by the industry. This will involve not only new designs for future ships, but also a complete change in the marine fuel ecosystem and significant investments for the use of low emission fuels. Existing fleet of ships will need to be relooked at and owners need to consider investment into greener ships early on.

New regulations and technologies are changing the way we work. However, with all these changes, it is important that the human element is given special attention to. With the growth of technology and digitalisation, seafarers’ role onboard is increasingly specialized. Consequently, there is a learning gap that needs to be addressed. The importance of maintaining maritime skills and ensuring that the seafarer training and qualification framework keeps pace with the technological advancement needs greater emphasis especially in the era of SMART Shipping.

We continue to regularly invest into Research & Innovation through which we develop our new services to address industry challenges.

Towards development of alternative fuels and propulsion systems, we have developed Rules for LNG carriers. We are actively working on Solar boats (one such boat is already in operation) and electric propulsion to promote use of non-fossil fuels. We have developed guidelines for alternate fuels like Methanol.

IRClass has taken over Chairmanship of International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) from 1st July 2019. During the Chairmanship, the focus would be on continuously strengthening the systems within IACS towards maintaining and enhancing quality operations. IACS will also demonstrate the proactive commitment necessary to ensure that it remains well positioned for the many challenges that face the maritime community.

Arun Sharma

Executive Chairman