Korean Register (KR) – an IACS member classification society – has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a joint venture company with the Iranian Classification Society (ICS).
The agreement is to deliver plant facility certification and engineering services. This is a growing market, with demand for plant project and industry safety inspection services expected to increase significantly over the next five years. The company will be called the ‘Iran-Korea Technology Assurance Company’, with 50-50 capital investment from KR and ICS. It will be fully operational in 2017.
KR established a branch office in Tehran in 2010 but sanctions meant that the society suspended most of its services, and to comply with all national and international regulations, KR de-listed the Iranian vessels on its register.
In 2016, following the easing of international sanctions, KR started classing Iranian ships again. Iranian vessels are today in the process of being registered with KR, including ships from the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
In November 2015, KR signed an MOU with IRISL and ICS, further cementing its strong position with the maritime community in the country, with all parties agreeing to actively cooperate on ship surveys.
KR is a respected maritime organisation in Iran and is a preferred provider for many of the local shipping companies. Moving forward, KR expects to increase its market share of the Iranian national fleet which is expected to rise due to the new build tanker orders resulting from the country’s expanded crude oil production and export.
Likewise, now that the sanctions have been lifted Iran is expected to carry out a significant amount of maintenance and newbuilding of on- and offshore plant facilities (oil drilling platforms, for example) to increase oil production. As a direct result, the demand for certification, building inspection and engineering (design and plan review) is also expected to increase.
Welcoming the Joint Venture Company agreement, Dr. B. S. Park, Chairman & CEO of KR said:
“We are delighted to work with the Iranian Classification Society and to enter the Iranian market, offering a more comprehensive range of services. Building on the experiences and expertise we are providing in Iranian market, we will look to expand our business of inspection and certification of plant facilities into the wider global market.”