Completing an energy transition to improve people's living conditions and also the accounts of companies engaged in the challenge. Ugo Salerno, president and CEO of the Rina group, invites you to bet on the energy mix, not only linked to the use of renewables, but also to the relaunch of nuclear power, especially for small-scale reactors. At the head of a multinational inspection, certification and engineering consultancy that last year saw its turnover grow by 21%, Salerno also invites you to bet on young people.
Having to sum up the challenge of sustainability in one word, which one would be the right one?
"Decarbonization, without a doubt. This is the key issue that helps improve the life of communities and also the growth of businesses. It is a commitment that involves everyone and also translates into a great opportunity to create jobs".
Your group opened its doors to over a thousand young people worldwide last year. But what do you ask of those who want to be part of the Rina group?
"In truth, we have the impression that it is the young people who are interviewing us".
In what sense?
"They present themselves with their curriculum vitae and their experiences, but then they want to know how we face the challenges of sustainability, how we organize our work, what our welfare is, what goals we set ourselves. And this for us becomes a extra stimulus to improve ourselves and grow in our strengths which are our colleagues and reputation".
Let's go back to the topic of decarbonisation, which you indicate as one of the pillars of your development. Where should it be declined?
"In a transversal way, in all areas. Decarbonisation is an industrial issue that involves all companies on a wide-ranging basis, I am thinking of steel mills, but also of large energy-intensive companies, such as glass and cement companies. The basic question is how decarbonise processes? This is the biggest challenge we face and which employs all the technologies available and those that are being worked on".
"The use of hydrogen in mixtures with other sources, but also nuclear power".
Very sensitive topic...
"In the meantime, nuclear power is by far the one that gives the least problems of residues to handle compared to all the others and then, from a safety point of view, it continues to be the least dangerous in percentage terms. And I'm talking about nuclear power from fission, because nuclear power from fusion we will see it in the coming decades, starting above all from small-scale plants. However, we need to act, we are not for paper projects, projects that remain on paper, we want to get to the result. And from this point of view we are already far ahead on the "steel, with a project already certified with Arvedi for the first green plant in Italy, and with transport. In fact, in Valcamonica we are project managers on a project that concerns trains that from the end of 2023 will change their fuel supply, from diesel to hydrogen" .
Have you also developed new projects in shipping, your initial business sector?
"Of course. In Greece we are working with a large shipowner for a 200,000 gross tonnage ship that will be powered by a mixture of methane and hydrogen produced directly on board".