Indian shipping body opens second office in UAE to pursue energy market

India’s main shipping classification body will increase its presence in the Arabian Gulf with a second office in the UAE as it seeks to expand further into the oil and gas market.

The opening of the Indian Register of Shipping’s (IRClass) office in Abu Dhabi will complement the services that its Dubai office provides.

“Oil and gas is an important growth area for IRClass, and Abu Dhabi is therefore a pivotal market location,” said C Sriramamurthy, IRClass’s chief operating officer.

“This new office will enable our proximity to customers and ability to better serve the needs of the offshore as well as onshore sectors.”

IRClass’s Abu Dhabi office will offer classification services, competing against the Emirates Classification Society (Tasneef), and global classifications bodies such as American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd’s Register, Bureau Veritas and Det Norske Veritas, which all have offices in the capital.

Such bodies ensure that ships and offshore structures are constructed and commissioned in accordance with appropriate technical standards.

In addition to IRClass’s core ship classification services, its Abu Dhabi office will offer services including design validation of ships and offshore structures, technical inspection and certification of jack-up barges, offshore platforms and sub-marine pipelines.

In addition to its UAE and Indian operations, IRClass also maintains offices in countries such as Britain, the United States, Thailand, China, South Korea and Singapore.

The agency is also planning to open offices in Malaysia and Nigeria.

IRClass announced the establishment of a senior-level advisory committee in the UAE in March, in an attempt to increase business activity and improve business links around the region.

The committee, led by Leonard Culas, Transworld Group’s managing director in Dubai, will meet on a half-yearly basis.

Plans to boost trade between India and the UAE by 60 per cent were among a host of targets announced after the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the UAE this month.

Bilateral trade between the countries – estimated at more than US$59 billion in 2014-15 – is targeted to increase 60 per cent over the next five years.

Mr Modi also presented the UAE government with proposals for $1 trillion in investment opportunities as he works to fulfil his election promise of fully reforming India’s economy.

Separately, Tasneef held a workshop last week in liaison with the Port of Fujairah to raise awareness about safety regulations of non-conventional ships. It was attended by ship owners and representatives from maritime and insurance companies.

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