Leading classification society ABS officially inaugurated the ABS Korea Energy Technology Center (KETC) in Busan, South Korea, on 19 October 2012.
ABS President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki joined senior representatives of the Korean shipping and shipbuilding sectors and academia to celebrate the official opening of the ABS KETC, ABS’ first global energy center.
Researchers at ABS KETC will work independently and in partnership with local industry, universities and government to develop technology for the offshore and energy industries in Korea. Focus areas will include offshore surface and subsea systems, oil and gas exploration and production, LNG technology, renewable energy development, alternative fuels and environmental efficiency.
KETC, staffed locally by skilled research engineers, will have access to resources at the ABS global technology headquarters in Houston as well as ABS offshore technology centers around the world.
“Korea’s yards are at the forefront of the global shipbuilding industry, and I believe the vision and initiative that have made Korea a leader in the marine industry can be similarly applied in other areas of specialization. ABS wants to join its resources with the drive, energy and technical capabilities of the Korean people,” Wiernicki said.
Investment in research and development is critical to the future of the offshore and energy industries and a priority for ABS, Wiernicki said. “I am convinced that we will make the best and most rapid progress in R&D by working together – pooling our knowledge and concentrating our efforts to solve challenges both in Korea and abroad.”
This objective dovetails with the efforts of the Korean Government, which according to Dr. Sang Jick Yoon, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, is developing offshore energy resources through R&D and investment in human resource. “In view of this,” he said, “it is all the more timely that ABS has established the Korea Energy Technology Center in the port city of Busan, which will serve to promote technology development not only in Korea but in Asia more broadly. I expect that KETC will offer a platform for close cooperation and enable us to generate innovative technology”
For Korea, the potential impact of research carried out through KETC will be significant. “As Newton’s apple changed the world and a small candle light brightens the whole room, I believe the beginning of ABS Korea Technology Center today will lead to positive changes and tremendous results in the shipping, shipbuilding and energy fields beyond our imagination,” said Dr. Kyuho Whang, Chairman of ABS Korea National Committee and President, SK Shipping.
Many local entities will benefit from collaboration with KETC. “It is the right time to establish the Korea Energy Technology Center, and I believe the goals of the center will be very much welcomed by Korean industries and academia,” said Professor Sang-Rai Cho, President of the Society of Naval Architects of Korea.
“ABS founded the KETC to increase knowledge and advance the development of the latest technology,” said Hoseong Lee, ABS Vice President, Global Korean Business Development. “We believe the KETC will be valuable in assisting ABS clients in solving their technology challenges and will enable ABS to develop stronger working relationship with Korean firms, local universities and R&D institutes.”
Press Release, October 30, 2012