EMPHASISING its commitment to the key Hellenic shipping market, international classification society RINA has strengthened its Hellenic Committee with the appointment of several new shipowning members.
Speaking at the last meeting of the RINA Hellenic Advisory Committee held in the Cash Restaurant, Athens, on 29th November, Ugo Salerno, CEO, RINA Group said, “The strength and vitality of the Greek shipowning community shows at its best in troubled times. We are happy to support good owners in Greece and we value the input and oversight given to us by our committee members.” Mr Salerno then went on to appoint Mr George Youroukos, managing director, Technomar Shipping, as chairman of the committee.
Spyros Zolotas, the Country Manager for RINA in Greece, welcomed the members and briefly referred to the expansion of RINA activities in Greece that also led once more to move the Office in a new and bigger location since the 1st of August 2011. Mr. Zolotas said “this year we have seen a strong renewal of our Greek owned tonnage that has improved the average age of our fleet”. A part of the classification services, RINA Hellas provides plan approval and engineering consultancy since 2008 and recently reinforced its presence in the yachting sector by the establishment of a Yacting Center in Piraeus. Training services that have been provided in various Greek shipping companies, are further developed by the establishment of a Training Center with all facilities in the new Office of RINA in Piraeus.
The past Chairman, Mr. Nicky Pappadakis, who was not able to attend due to commitments abroad, addressed the participants through a video message in which he referred to the achievements of RINA Hellenic Advisory Committee and Hellenic Technical Committee in the last years, as well as to the top position of RINA in Port State Control ranking. Mr. Pappadakis in his welcome to the new Chairman said, “ George Youroukos is the best person for this role not only because he is a competent and nice person but also an excellent ambassador”.
The new Chairman, Mr. Youroukos in his first speech to the Committee Members, referred to his experiences with RINA and the Hellenic Committee since 2004 and his motivation to support its activities also through this new and important role. A real 24/7 service, close contacts and support to the clients, as well as dedication to safety and the environment, are the keys for RINA success in cooperation with quality shipowning and management Companies.
Then Mr. Youroukos welcomed the new members: Spyros Capralos, Star Bulk Carriers; Michael Chalkias, Prime Marine Management; Nicolas A Frangistas, Franco Compania Naviera; George Karageorgiou, Globus Maritime; Nikos Pateras, Pacific & Atlantic Shipmanagers; Alexandros Petrakis and Themistocles Petrakis, Iason Hellenic Shipping.
Ugo Salerno updated the committee on major changes at RINA Group aimed at improving services to clients. These include moving to a matrix-based management system, and also the acquisition of a major engineering consultancy group, D’Appolonia, which enhances the range of services RINA can deliver. The new matrix system will enable RINA to focus multi-disciplinary teams on the specific needs of clients, especially where these cross industry boundaries. Mr Salerno introduced the new COO of RINA, Michele Francioni, who from his Genoa headquarters will be responsible for global service delivery, and Stefano Bertilone, General Manager for Greece, Middle East and Africa.
Mr. Francioni and Mr. Bertilone updated the participants on their respective duties and the new ‘philosophy’ of RINA for the new year.
The Hellenic Committee also welcomed two guests from Chinese shipyards, Xu Ziqiu, President of China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co. (CSOC) and Lou Jiwei, Senior Vice President, Sino-Pacific Shipbuilding (Group) Co. They gave a presentation on newbuilding in China today and discussed current market and technical trends with RINA committee members and senior managers.
The discussion went on till late midnight during the dinner.