Economy, Business And Markets

S. Korean Classification Services for Iran’s Shipping Industry

S. Korean Classification Services for Iran’s Shipping IndustryS. Korean Classification Services for Iran’s Shipping Industry

Busan-based Korean Register, a member of the International Association of Classification Societies, has signed a memorandum of agreement to establish a joint venture company with the Iranian Classification Society.

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 “Iran-Korea Technology Assurance Company”, with 50-50 capital investment from KR and ICS. It will become fully operational in 2017, Greece-based news portal Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide reported, citing KR.

KR established a branch office in Tehran in 2010 but sanctions meant that the society suspended most of its services and de-listed the Iranian vessels on its register to comply with national and international regulations.

Following the easing of international sanctions in January 2016, 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 and the National Iranian Tanker Company.

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 expects to increase its market share of the Iranian national fleet, which is expected to rise due to the new tanker orders resulting from the country’s expanded crude oil production and export.

Now that the sanctions have been lifted, Iran is expected to carry out a significant amount of maintenance and construction of onshore 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 agreement, B. S. Park, chairman and 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.”