2022 has been another significant and positive year for Indian Register of Shipping(IRS) as the organisation goes from strength to strength. IRS has once again achieved strong and sustained business growth with inroads into new markets. The last 12 months has seen fleet addition of over 200 ships with more than 7 million GT – and an increased global geographical presence.
Executive Chairman, Mr Arun Sharma (pictured), said: “IRS has continued to be a dynamic, pioneering and influential force throughout 2022. We have made great strides in the move towards sustainable shipping and remain trusted partners to a host of maritime stakeholders. 2023 will see more shifts in the regulatory landscape globally. However, the IRS reputation for excellence, quality and maritime safety will remain unrivalled.”
Decarbonisation has remained high on the agenda for the organisation as the industry looks to reduce carbon emissions. Several initiatives have been taken towards the development of alternative fuels ecosystem. IRS has conducted successful trials using biofuels with encouraging results. Rules have been developed for Ammonia and Hydrogen-fuelled vessels, as well as Fixed Offshore Wind Turbine installations.
Classification of the first hybrid battery-powered catamaran, built by Indian shipbuilder Cochin Shipyard, was another highlight. The catamaran ferry, designed for shore charging and certified to carry 100 passengers, is propelled by a hybrid-electric propulsion system by means of lithium titanium oxide (LTO) batteries and DG Sets. IRS has developed Guidelines for battery powered vessels and the vessel was assigned with the notation “BATTERY PROP “.
The organisation has initiated a digitalisation journey along with a leading industry partner based on global best practices and adoption experience. It will focus on Digital Twin concept, data analytics, knowledge management as well as life cycle management of assets.
IRS renewed its commitment to the Indian Defence forces and has been engaged in several pioneering projects for Indian Navy, including diving support vessels, shallow water ASW corvettes, survey vessels large, floating dock and various auxiliary vessels. IRS is involved in Indian Coast Guard new construction projects like fast patrol vessels, interceptor crafts, pollution control vessels and several others. A series of nine Floating Border Outposts (FBOPs) for the Border Security Force, Ministry of Home Affairs have been classed as well.
Effective stakeholder engagement remains a key focus. IRS has extended its commitment to the Asia Pacific region with new offices and an expanded service portfolio. IRS Advisory Committee Meeting and a Customer Meet in Singapore – saw plans for the region outlined. IRS also hosted a stakeholder meet on research and development activities at its Mumbai head office, as part of efforts to strengthen initiatives in this field.
In addition, IRS continued its drive to improve inland vessel safety throughout India, having played an integral role in the drafting of the Inland Vessels Act 2021. Based on the IV Act 2021, IRS drafted rules in consultation with Ministry, State Governments and various other stakeholders. The draft Rules and Regulations for Construction and Classification of Inland Waterways Ships are ship-type specific to ensure safety of cargo, assets and the environment.
IRS signed MOUs with an array of shipyards such as GRSE, HSL, and GSL. Agreements were also penned with a host of prominent educational institutions, including NITIE and Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati.
There remains a resolute focus on training and upskilling staff through structured training and regular mentoring. Several training programs were conducted throughout the year for surveyors and senior staff towards ensuring continuous commitment to quality operations. The organisation has also taken initiatives to identify next generation leadership well equipped towards building a resilient and future ready organisation in an increasingly complex environment.
IRS was awarded the prestigious ‘National Best Employer Brands 2021 Award’ by the World HRD Congress held in Mumbai during March’22 for having employee wellbeing and an employee-first philosophy at the core of its business.