LIMEFORUA 2020 conference took place in Lviv
LIMEFORUA 2020 conference took place in Lviv
On 11 December 2020, VIII Annual Conference LIMEFORUA 2020 “Limestone industry: new reality – new opportunities” took place in Lviv.
For the first time in 2020, after the forced transition to online, the Ukrainian Lime Industry Association held a live conference, which caused the special interest and significance of the event. Despite the known difficulties, we managed to gather important market participants, our old and new partners and ended the year with the spirit of optimism.
The conference was attended by the representatives of enterprises and organizations of various industries and spheres, including: manufacturers of limestone products and lime, suppliers of specialized equipment, manufacturers of building materials, logistics, analytical, educational companies. The conference partners became IBG Kovalska, PJSC Ternopil Quarry, GMK Center, LvBS (Lviv Business School) and Mining School.
In a traditional welcoming speech, Mykhailo Korylkevych, the President of ULIA, reported on the results of the association’s activities for the current year and presented the extensive plans for the next year. ULIA expects to return a variety of events next year: from traditional conferences to round tables, press conferences and demo shows of specialized equipment. Moreover, ULIA is going to continue its partnership with such major events as InvestForum UA in Tenerife, which will take place in March 2021, and the Ukrainian Economic Renaissance Forum.
LIMESTONE PRODUCTS MARKET / NEW PROJECTS AND PROSPECTS
Roman Hladunenko, CEO of ULIA, presented the results of 2020 and the vision of next year’s development of limestone and lime production industries. In particular, this year, for the second year in a row, a slight decline is expected in both limestone and lime, but it has less dynamics than expected in early-mid-year; in the second half of the year the situation began to level off gradually. Accordingly, next year is projected to return to the growing trend, which, according to optimistic estimates, will reach the level of 2019. Among the main features of the past year – a sharp decline in imports of limestone with almost unchanged levels of domestic production, as well as a marked increase in production by some small/medium-sized companies. This indicates the aggravation of the competitive environment and the support of the largest consumers in the crisis year, namely domestic producers in contrast to imports. However, it is worth noting next year’s warnings and risks, including the return of the crisis to the metallurgical industry, which will be possible with a recurrence of the global crisis, rising imports of limestone products, including mineral powder and lime, rising railway tariffs and difficulties with railway supplies which are observed annually.
In any case, the market of limestone products is expected to increase competitiveness, and companies with a reputation of a reliable partner, with well-established management systems, large production and logistics facilities, will gain an advantage.
Serhii Honcharenko, a Deputy Director General of IBG Kovalska, shared the company’s experience and principles in finding new opportunities and capturing new markets in the crisis year on the example of the development plan of industrial HUB Kovalska in the village of Rozvadiv in Lviv region. The development of the mentioned HUB envisages the construction in different periods of such production units as the aerated concrete plant, the Dry Building Mixes Plant, the plant for the production of mineral powder, the plant for the production of liquid BM, the plant for the production of insulation, etc. In general, the Kovalska Group demonstrates a clear example of a strategic approach to planning its development for many years, focusing on the maximum depth of product processing and consistent construction of the employer brand.
DEVELOPMENT OF MANAGEMENT AND PROFESSIONAL POTENTIAL
The annual conference LIMEFORUA 2020 was significant in the formation of a new direction of the association – the development of management practices and staff. The conference was attended by Lviv Business School, Mining School and ICF Ukraine Chapter (the Ukrainian branch of the International Coaching Federation), with which a long-term partnership agreement was reached.
Volodymyr Khitsiak, a Head of the LvBS Center for Ethics and Technology, presented the results of a multi-stage LvBS study “Business in Times of Crisis”. The study has become an important marker for noting changes in the activities of companies during the crisis year, and, importantly, in the perception of company leaders of new circumstances and their impact on decisions and expectations for the future. Among the main conclusions: business sees the crisis as an opportunity; Ukrainian business is moving to global thinking and uses a broader context in planning; three pillars of anti-crisis strategies: flexibility, adaptability and speed; the crisis is overcome by leaders and teams with strong horizontal connections and a culture of mentoring; constant updating of team knowledge and skills – “anti-crisis vaccine” of business.
Kateryna Veselska, an Operational Efficiency Manager of PrJSC “Ternopil Quarry”, presented a new project from one of the limestone market leaders, the Mining School. In a few years, PrJSC “Ternopil Quarry” showed one of the best dynamics of development among limestone companies, which allowed increasing production and logistics capacity, creating new products, modernizing production and as a result taking the second place among limestone producers. The gained and systematized experience became the basis for the development and implementation of the idea of creating the Mining School, the content of which is in the transfer of specialized knowledge and skills in various fields of mining. The main lecturers are the relevant specialists of PrJSC “Ternopil Quarry”, and, in the development of individual programs at the request of the client, specialists on narrow topics are involved.
Yurii Fridman, known to the limestone market as the permanent sales and marketing director of PrJSC “Novotroitske Ore Mining”, took the role of a professional certified coach of the International Coaching Federation (PCC ICF). In his presentation, Yurii introduced the audience to the historical exploration of ICF as the largest global professional coaching community and the fundamentals of coaching as a partnership with clients in a creative and thought-provoking process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The presentation contained an exploration of what competencies a manager needs for effective business management in modern conditions and how coaching helps to develop them.
ULIA appreciates the opportunities of coaching to increase the competencies and efficiency of managers, and hence limestone enterprises, so it was logical to sign a Memorandum of Co-operation between the Ukrainian Lime Industry Association and ICF Ukraine Chapter (the Ukrainian branch of the International Coaching Federation), which was made in front of the conference audience.
The annual conference LIMEFORUA 2020 was marked by the use of a new format – a discussion panel. After the introductory speech of Taras Dumych, a Managing Partner of the Ukrainian office of Wolf Theiss, on the prospects of corporate governance for the lime industry, the conference participants were able to watch with interest the discussion of decision-making, manager-shareholder interaction, the need to build a team and apply the project principle, motivation of employees. The participants of the discussion panel, which was professionally moderated by Taras Dumych, were Yurii Fridman, Maksym Shvets, a consultant of ULIA with extensive managerial experience and competence in the limestone industry, and Roman Yavorskyi, a Head of PrJSC “Ternopil Quarry”. The conversation was lively and aroused the interest of the audience, so we will take into account the use of this format in our next events.
The final part of the conference was devoted to the use of limestone products for cleaning and rehabilitation of the environment. In addition to the extreme importance and relevance of the topic, it should be noted that these areas of use of limestone products are potentially very capacious and can become one of the drivers of development of the entire industry.
Maksym Shvets, a consultant of ULIA, reported on the current state of regulations on monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions. Importantly, in particular, from 2021 it is planned to launch a system of monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions. The system is not simple, and ULIA is ready to provide supportive methodological assistance to enterprises in the lime industry.
In his speech, Serhii Veremeienko, a Professor, PhD in Agricultural Sciences, who has extensive experience of cooperation with ULIA, presented in detail the problem of increased soil acidity, its scale is more than 10 million hectares of land in need of liming, and solutions. Among the different types of ameliorants, granular limestone is especially noteworthy, which in terms of its composition, convenience and accuracy of application is practically an ideal product for deoxidation. This product is the future of the soil deoxidation market, and this year the country has created new production facilities for its production.
In his concluding remarks, Viktor Melnychuk, a Professor, PhD in Geological Sciences, informed about the study of the use of granular limestone for deoxidation of fishery reservoirs – another promising topic and area of application of limestone products. Interestingly, this study is carried out in cooperation of a scientific institution with PrJSC “Ternopil Quarry” – a good example of proactive activities of the company in developing a new product and finding the optimal use.
The conference ended with a festive buffet, the participants were full of positive emotions, which for us are the best reward and motivation for the next events of the association.
In his speech opening the conference, Mykhailo Korylkevych, the Association President, once again announced the next annual events of ULIA, so we invite you to take them into account in your plans and join our active group!