Korean Register (KR) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a joint venture company with the Iranian Classification Society (ICS).
The company will be called the ‘Iran-Korea Technology Assurance Company’, with 50-50 capital investment from KR and ICS and it is planned to be fully operational in 2017.
The agreement is to deliver plant facility certification and engineering services, KR said. The classification society aims to tap into this growing market, as demand for plant project and industry safety inspection services is expected to increase significantly over the next five years.
“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,” Dr. B. S. Park, Chairman & CEO of KR said.
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).
“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,” the classification society said.
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.