2021 has been a great year for RINA with double digit growth and good EBITDA.
More than anything, however, I have been delighted with the progression of RINA’s reputation, both in Italy and internationally. We are recognised as a trend-setter and leader in markets such as decarbonisation, infrastructure and energy, and our reputation, experience and capabilities mean that many companies and organisations are now proactively asking us to participate in projects.
Energy transition remains a priority
Decarbonisation remains a key focus for the business: we were the first in the world this year to prove the use of mix of 30% hydrogen with methane using existing burners.
We are also working with SNAM to qualify 33,000 km of pipeline for the transport of hydrogen/methane mixtures up to 100% hydrogen and with Alstom on hydrogen-fuelled trains, the first of which are due to be operating by 2023.
Our experience in decarbonisation and technology transfer means we have learned that we cannot avoid the use of any single technology. For example, we are one of the few companies in Europe working on carbon capture technology, including one experimental project that is looking to use the CO2 with algae to create edible vegetable oil.
We are getting stronger and stronger
For the second consecutive year, our marine business has delivered the best growth of all class societies. Indeed, at +14%, it is at least three times more than other class societies and at the beginning of 2022 we reached 60 million GT.
With digitalisation comes the challenge of cybersecurity, so we have also acquired 50% of an innovative company working on cyber risk evaluation. This software enables us to offer a quantitative assessment of risks and gives us a much stronger presence in this market area.
In Space & Defence, Interconsulting, a recent acquisition, has already been integrated into the business and is performing well. We see a strong future in this sector and will continue to look for further acquisitions to expand our capabilities.
Our Real Estate business, RINA Prime, is another exciting and growing sector. We have a good network into the market, experience in managing property portfolios, and, with the acquisition of a business providing property management software at the end of the year, are now a technical leader in Italy.
Looking to the future
Ultimately, the strong foundation and plans we have put in place for growth will not be possible if we do not manage human resources in the best way and attract quality talent into the business. Our huge development plans will be supported by an intense program of hiring over the coming years. In 2022 alone, we plan to reach about 5,000 colleagues and are working to develop our HR capabilities to ensure our people are qualified, motivated and engaged with the business and their teams.