Maxim Barskiy: Sibanthracite as a coal industry success story

Barskiy Maxim Gennadievich

Barskiy Maxim Gennadievich is a high-ranking corporate executive with an impressive international background. He started off his career in the financial sector and later moved on to focus on oil and coal industries. His track record includes development and implementation of a business optimization strategy for the country’s leading producer of metallurgical coals.

Maxim Barskiy and Sibanthracite

Sibanthracite is one of the country’s major coal producers and the leading exporter of high-quality UHG anthracite. Since its inception in 2000, the group has accumulated a number of coal-mining assets in Novosibirsk and Kemerovo regions.

Sibanthracite’s products are marketed both domestically and abroad – in the Asian and European markets. Its key objectives were defined as productivity improvement, higher product quality and bolstering the group’s market positions. To accomplish these objectives Sibanthracite needed a more efficient management system.

In 2018, Maxim Gennadievich Barskiy, who had already been an experienced corporate executive, was invited by the group’s founder Dmitry Bosov to join its management team. Later, Barskiy was nominated to Sibanthracite’s board of directors. Earlier, Barskiy had succeeded in forestalling a bankruptcy of West Siberian Resources, an oil producer, and beefed up the company’s market value to $4.5 billion. On top of that, Barskiy Maxim had under his belt a successful executive tenure with another major oil corporation – TNK-BP, tripling its market capitalization. 

Maxim Barskiy and Sibanthracite: Superb strategic management

Maxim Gennadievich Barskiy, a graduate of Leningrad State University and University of California, Berkley, has quite an impressive professional background. As an undergraduate he had authored a research paper on the country’s stock market, forecasting its dramatic collapse in the event of a major turbulence (his predictions materialized in 1998, following the country’s default on sovereign debt).

Sibanthracite’s key shareholders invited Maxim Barskiy to manage the enterprise, hoping he would help to dramatically improve its results. Eventually, he lived up to their expectations. He has always been described by his colleagues as a “smart negotiator and competent strategist” with a good track record in a number of industries. 

Having taken up his post as the group’s chief executive, Barskiy Maxim Gennadievich immediately began to draw and pursue his strategy for its business development. The strategy was composed of four phases and intended to bring Sibanthracite to a higher level. Also, these strategic plans were meant to be successfully implemented irrespective of price fluctuations on the global coal market[7]

Sibanthraciate: On the way to international markets

The new chief executive’s first step was to consolidate Sibanthracite’s independently managed and uncoordinated production assets. Previously, the group’s coal-mining subsidiaries used to compete with each other putting pressure on the coal prices. Maxim Barskiy managed to solve this problem, which had been a crucial obstacle for Sibanthracite’s development. Mining operations and marketing policies of the group’s two key subsidiaries – Siberian Anthracite and Vostochny Open-Pit Mining – were put under centralized control.

Maxim Barskiy, Sibanthracite

Maxim Barskiy’s next move was aimed at solving the problem of unneeded intermediaries. He and his team reached out to major steel-makers in China, Japan, South Korea, and India directly to forge long-term coal supply contracts with them. As a result, the group was able both to get rid of unnecessary intermediation from commodity traders like Glencore or Carbo One and improve Sibanthracite’s investment case. Making the company more attractive for potential investors also helped Maxim Barskiy to raise from a consortium of foreign banks debt funding to the tune of $1.0 billion, using the new long-term export contracts as a collateral. These direct contracts with the world’s leading steel-makers made the group a key participant of the global coal market.

Pursuing his strategy, Barskiy Maxim had to deal with the problem of direct competition from the group’s intermediary and suggested that Sibanthracite should launch a new coal product under its own brand. Previously, up to 90% of metallurgical lean coals (T-grade under local classification) produced by one of the group’s subsidiaries – Kiyzasskiy Open-Pit Mining, which was launched in 2014 – had been sold to Carbo One, a trading firm controlled by Kuzbassrazrezugol, a competing coal producer owned by UMMC, one of the country’s large-scale metals and mining conglomerates. Carbo One blended the lean coals supplied by Sibanthracite with its own parent company’s coals and resold the resulting product under a different trade mark. Maxim Barskiy discontinued this scheme. Instead, Sibanthracite began to mix its subsidiary’s lead coals with the group-produced anthracite and marketed the resulting blend as a new coal product, which turned out to be in great demand in India and China.  

The third part of Maxim Barskiy’s strategy involved optimization and streamlining the group’s logistics. Under Barskiy’s leadership, Sibanthracite made partnership agreements with seaports on the Black and Baltic seas, making their large-scale dry bulk terminals available for its export flows bound for China and India.

Later, Maxim Barskiy focused on coal production costs optimization. Before his arrival, the group used to outsource all mining operations at Vostochny and Kiyzasskiy to third-party contractors. The outsourcers often failed to comply with mining safety standards and resorted to reckless mining techniques, which would accelerate reserves depletion and soil erosion. Maxim Barskiy put Sibanthracite’s experts in charge of all technological processes and mining operations, with these measures helping the group to halve anthracite production costs. 

Overall, the implementation of this strategy enabled the group to substantially improve its financial performance. By 2020, when Maxim Barskiy stepped down as Sibanthracite’s chief executive, the group had already acquired the status of a recognized leading global producer and supplier of metallurgical coals.

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