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Korean Register celebrates 60th anniversary

Picture shows Hyung-chul Lee, Chairman and CEO Korean Register

The Korean Register (KR), an IACS member classification society celebrates its 60th anniversary on 20 June 2020.

To mark the occasion KR has held a commemorative ceremony at the organization’s headquarters in Busan, Korea. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the large planned celebration event was replaced with significant donations given to six schools in the local community, two maritime universities and six universities with naval architecture schools.

KR chairman and CEO, Hyung-chul Lee said: “I thank our Government for their vision when KR was created back in 1960, and I thank all of my colleagues for their hard work building our organization into the respected, industry-leading centre of expertise that it is today.  Today, we are not just celebrating our 60th anniversary, we’re looking to the future and the next 60 years and continuing our Mission, to enhance the safety of life and property while protecting the environment.”

Looking ahead, Hyung-chul Lee has set digitalization and positioning KR as the leading digitalized classification society as a core goal for the term of his leadership. As a result, KR has already differentiated itself from other classification societies by offering customers a range of options using adaptive technology to deliver conventional surveys.

Now the organization is working on big data platforms, e-certificate systems, an increasing range of remote surveys and virtual reality-based surveyor training simulators. KR is also working with industry to install sensors on essential equipment onboard newbuild and existing vessels to collect data for condition-based monitoring and is well-respected for its innovative and comprehensive cyber security measures.

Furthermore, KR intends to deliver ten practical digital technologies before the end of 2020, these already include condition-based monitoring, drone surveys, and a 3D based approval system. AI technologies are the society’s next area of focus, helping KR’s customers and the wider industry prepare for the wider introduction of autonomous vessels.

In 1958, the entire Korean fleet numbered just 39 vessels with a combined gross tonnage of just 100,953. KR was formed in 1960 to help grow the domestic fleet, overseeing the building and servicing of the vessels.

KR became an associate member of IACS just 15 years after its formation and achieved full membership 13 years later. In 1989, the general manager KR’s London office was the first KR official to chair an IMO special working group. Since then, KR’s global network and spread of capabilities have increased and the society has taken on the chairmanship of IACS twice and chaired a range of IMO committees and groups.

Today, the KR fleet is currently comprised of 65% Korean owners and 35% international customers.  The international fleet is made up of more than 3,000 vessels totaling 70 million GT (gross tonnage) and is made up of 43% bulk carriers, 22% tankers, 12% containerships, RORO are 9% and gas carriers 7%.

As of June 2020, KR is authorized by 80 flag administrations to act as a Recognized Organization and KR has 68 offices worldwide, 15 in Korea and 53 in other countries.

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