The surge in fleet size – up almost 4 million gt from last year – has been driven largely by 2007’s healthy newbuilding market and includes a wide range of vessels including bulk carriers and tankers (to be built according to IACS Common Structural Rules), containerships, VLOCs and PCTCs.
Commenting on this latest milestone, KR’s Chairman and CEO, Mr Oh, Kong-gyun said:
“We’ve been focusing on international growth and the Chinese market has been a particular target. We’ve expanded our resources in China to provide a wide-range of technical support to the local shipyards and opened two additional Chinese branch offices in Nanjing and Ningbo. As a result, of the 143 new KR-classed vessels being build outside Korea, 69 are to be built in China.
I’m delighted to see that our superior quality of service and technical expertise is now being actively sought by many international shipowners. Greek owner, Danaos Shipping Co Ltd, is classing a newbuilding order for three 10,000 TEU containerships with us and Sinochem Shipping Co Ltd - a subsidiary of the Chinese oil refinery giant - will class four new chemical tankers with us in addition to the vessels already in the KR fleet. And an increased number of Norwegian, Japanese and Turkish owners are also requesting newbuilding classification surveys from us.”
KR continues to develop its range of services, technical expertise and global reach into 2008. Plans are in place to extend its international network in Mumbai, Durban, New Orleans, Taipei and Tianjin to bring its total number of branch offices to over 50. It also has plans to establish regional head offices in China and Europe later this year.