IRClass foresees strong growth in Qatar’s shipping industry

Qatar’s ultramodern Hamad Port is set to attract an increase in business volume. The port, which operated at 70 percent of its capacity in 2018, will soon become one of the leading ports in the world with Qatar ramping up its gas production, said an industry leader.

“Hamad Port has already emerged as a leading port in the region. We expect this port will attract more businesses in the coming years”, Arun Sharma, Executive Chairman, IRClass, one of the leading solution providers in global shipping industry told The Peninsula.

IRClass Systems & Solutions Pvt Ltd, promoted by Register of Shipping-The Indian Ship Classification Society- is providing inspection services since 1980. Indian Register of Shipping is recognised for its technical competency and experience in maritime sector for more than 40 years.

IRClass subsidiary IRQS (Indian Register Quality Systems) is the first certification body in the entire Asian pacific Region to have a RvA accreditation. Till date, it has certified more than 3500 companies globally.

On the growing opportunities in Qatar, Sharma said as the region’s fast growing economy, Qatar is important for IRClass. “Qatari market is important for us. We are here as part of our Middle East agenda. We are looking to share our expertise in data building, cyber security and emission cut to Qatar’s maritime industry”, Sharma said.

Cyber risks in maritime industry are fast evolving into a major concern due to lack of proper controls and procedures for various onboard systems using high end computers, advanced communication technologies, state of art con troll and automation systems. IRClass has developed solutions to address cyber risks for ships and land installations which are based on International maritime Organisation (IMO) cyber risk management guidelines and industry best practices.

Sharma said with effect from January 1, 2020, the global fleet will take a huge step toward being a larger part of the solution, when the International Marine Organization’s (IMO’s) low-sulphur regulations kick in, requiring the global fleet to switch from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent sulfur fuel. With Qatari entities owning a huge fleet, IRclass can help these companies to meet the Sulphur cap compliance. Two main solutions being considered for compliance are use of 0.5 percent sulphur fuel and exhaust gas cleaning systems technology.

Ballast water management is another expertise that we can offer to our clients in Qatar. IMO adopted the ‘International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments’ in 2004 to deal with the problem of invasive species from ship’s ballast water. The convention entered into force in September 2017. IRclass is competent to provide services to Qatar’s marine industry in this sector as well, he said.

According to Oxford Business Group (OBG), a total of 1592 vessels called at Hamad Port between January and December 2018. In 2018 the port handled more than 1.3m twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers, 255,193 tonnes of bulk cargo and more than 1m tonnes of break bulk. Operations were continuing to expand apace, with the port welcoming 133 vessels in January.

In July 2019, the three different ports in Doha- Hamad Port, Doha Port and Ruwais Port- have collectively registered an 18 percent growth in terms of port of calls, compared to the previous month.

Source from: The Peninsula