14 May 2012
Dmitry Firtash interview to ‘Expert’: ‘Titanic Efforts’
In 7 years to come, Dmitry Firtash is prepared to spend $7 billion for the development of nitrogen chemicals production, titanium industry and petrochemical businesses. Aside from costs associated with acquisition of new enterprises in Europe and Ukraine.
‘EXPERT’ is not too prone to use the word “oligarch” in its publications – way too often this label is toyed with – properly or improperly – in other media. Therefore, rocketing up to the 31st storey of Kiev’s most prestigious business center Parus, we thought we would talk to the owner of Group DF as to an important businessman managing to build a chemical empire notwithstanding prohibitive prices to natural gas. From the first moments of our conversation, Dmitry Firtash made it clear that he, in the capacity of the President of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine, talks to the President of Ukraine, to the Prime Minister, ministers and governors, and he has his own pained vision of the nation’s economic and industrial policy. All in all, the conversation lasted for four hours – after all, it’s not a business-as-usual opportunity to talk to a persona of this caliber, especially given that he is always prepared to provide arguments underlying his interests and explaining his moves.
- Half a year ago, you came to steer the Federation of Employers of Ukraine. Why did you choose to get involved in public activity?
- I am sure that business must play a lot greater role in the country than it has up till now, it must make a real difference in the country’s economic policy. Over 20 years, an entirely new class of people emerged in Ukraine – business owners, employers. The bulk of Ukraine’s economy is privately owned, and business makes decisions to this or that extent affecting lives of millions people.
I am positive that an influential corporate position is vital for Ukraine today. It is something that can make our country strong. Yes, Ukraine will have to be reckoned with not due to its strong military but rather due to its strong industry, strong business.
The Federation of Employers is what unites all Ukrainian entrepreneurs and business people. This is our association, our platform – for communicating with the government, for protecting our interests and advocating our ideas.
If you look at similar organizations in any European country, you’ll see that these are powerful and influential entities. The corporate world, the government and local authorities have a clear understanding of what a Federation is about. Our opinion is reckoned with. At this time, business doesn’t have to go in for politics in order to gain protection. Everyone has to do their job, then there will be order in the country and everyone will know his or her scope of responsibility.
Owing to the Federation, business has real impact leverage. We are talking to the government, to the tax and customs services, Antimonopoly Committee as equal. The Federation is enhancing its foreign economic ties with European and Asian countries, with Russia. We don’t have any artificial political limitations. Business has always been driven by common sense and economic advantage considerations. I want the Federation to be a catalyst of new processes in which the Ukrainian business will be engaged. We will be finding new opportunities for Ukraine’s advancement. I know that many are skeptical about Ukraine’s ability to become one of European leading economies and join G20 eventually. This skepticism is a result of people’s stereotypical thinking and nearsightedness. As a businessman working in different markets, I am positive that Ukraine has enormous edges and opportunities which just have to be realized. But to make it happen, business has to be concerted and business people – stick together.
- Do you think the government will hear you?
- As the experience shows, it does. For instance, recently a problem with railroad cargo shipments popped up – renting freight cars was impossible while rent cost tripled. In a relatively short time, we managed to resolve this issue. It turned out that the Federation can work effectively while the government is willing to help. It means that there is no weight we wouldn’t be able to lift, no problem we can’t address.
- You argue that previously, business did not have its own platform. How about the UUIE (Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs) then?
- The influence of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine extends far beyond the country boundaries. The International Labor Organization and International Organization of Employers being part of the UN structure only recognize employers associations. The Federation represents Ukraine in a dialogue with employers’ organizations of other countries. Besides, the Federation’s rights and powers in a dialogue with the government are spelled out in a special law on employers’ organizations.
- You have your lobby in the government, why would you need a non-governmental organization?
- I keep hearing things like “you, as large business, are pretty well-off, you can protect yourself. We, the small ones, always have hard time…” I laugh at these comments and say: “it’s an illusion. In reality, the larger the business, the more difficult it is to protect it. The only difference is that your problem is addressed at a governor’s or even at a sheriff’s level while our solution must be sought at a higher level.” But it is not important. What does matter is that there be equally favorable conditions for the operation of both large and small business. That is why the Federation is using a systemic approach to solving problems rather than lobbying individual companies’ interests.
I fully realize the degree of my responsibility for fulfilling the set missions but having me alone is not enough. It is important that the entire corporate community be active. A customary behavior for many is to sit quiet and idle hoping that it will all get arranged somehow. My suggestion is to change the attitude and get rid of fears, to make sure that business is respected and talked to. We have to influence the state economic policy together. We have to jointly show new opportunities for Ukraine because it is exactly the business people who have a perfect nose for new opportunities and prospects.
I have decided to visit all regions and talk to business people during this year and early next year. Our objective is to build effective business-to-power relations across the entire country.
- The question of assets renewal is more than relevant for you as a business owner. Our banks however are not ready to issuing long-term and low-interest loans. What is a solution, in your opinion?
- The question of financing, reconstruction and long-term loans is the number one problem. Short-term money may be earned from trading operations but today, business is generating this money very painfully. And the majority of companies would barely boast too a high a margin they are making. But I would not say that it is only the National Bank that is to blame for that. The National Bank is a mirror of the country and its economy at large. I think that the problem is of way larger scale. The way this problem is solved will determine the country’s ratings. If they are high, investors will be interested in bringing their money to Ukraine. This requires systemic economic reforms. Economy must be deregulated, normal doing business conditions must be provided for large, medium and small business alike. It is exactly what the Federation is focused on – it is our contribution into constructing a new economic system boosting the country’s rating and affording accessible loans for business.
This month, we launched an experiment offering small and medium enterprises access to cheap loans. Together with some Chernivtsi-based entrepreneurs I established ‘Bukovyna’ Fund in Chernivtsi issuing preferential loans to entrepreneurs looking to developing their business. The interest rate varies within a 5-to-15 percent range. I hope this project will succeed and this experience can be transplanted across the whole of Ukraine.
- You own NADRA bank. Against what interest rate is it willing to lend to Group DF companies?
- Group DF does not borrow from NADRA. We have a fairly high liquidity. According to our logics, NADRA Bank is not an entity to service the Group. This is a retail bank having 500 branches, not some 20 – 30. This is a huge organization and its purpose is to operate in the retail market. The Group indeed is serviced by the Bank which provides a very sizeable support to it. We have our accounts with NADRA, our working capitals, we buy foreign exchange and keep our balances there. If we assess NADRA’s liquidity, it will rank among top three in Ukraine’s banking system. We keep our money with NADRA and by that token we too guarantee the bank’s stability.
- Is it right to understand that no plant belonging to the Group receives financing from the bank?
- There are some short-term requirements occurring now and then. For instance, Severodonetsk Azot would borrow 300 to 400 million UAH from NADRA as they were running short of cash: products sales were delayed while gas bills had to be paid. Credit lines are opened for all our enterprises but all of these lines are short-term. It’s about a 3-to-5- day repayment arrangement.
- After the bank’s reanimation you alleged that NADRA would rank within top five Ukrainian banks. Do you really think that it is a realistic target? We heard several dozen banks claiming their intention to be in the top-five.
- To dare is to do. One is a poor manager if he or she is contented with what he’s got at the moment. The staff needs to be motivated. And they are tasked with a mission: you guys must rank at least fifth in the retail sector.
- Ukraine has been paying too high a gas price. Is it a problem for you? What ways of addressing it do you see?
- The gas price is high indeed. And no one is happy with it. For the Ukrainian industry $400 for a thousand cubic meters is a prohibitive price and everything above is a sheer disaster. Sometimes I hear opposition politicians say: “why should we care about making the gas price cheaper? It’s not our problem, it’s a problem for plants owners and managers.” Here is my question: is it something a sensible person should be saying? Me, I will survive with that price somehow. But what will the country do? Suppose the chemical industry halts tomorrow. Now, do the math and see how many cities depend on chemical industries employing over six thousand workers each, then multiply this amount by four – family members, and you will know that 70 to 80 percent of city population depend on such companies. If the plants halt, it will be a social disaster. The plants create jobs, pay taxes to the budget, and often keep the municipal infrastructure up and running. Therefore, saying things like that is not what a sensible person should say, they’d better keep their tongues.
- Thus, $400 is a cap of price affordability?
- For the chemical sector it is unreal. It is twice higher than the European prices. How would you imagine Ukraine could be competitive internationally?
- And yet, you are acquiring chemical assets. What makes you sure that chemical production is a promising one?
- The market has changed cardinally. The way the market was structured previously is like this: he who has gas orders the tune. It used to be the seller’s market. Today, the emphasis is shifting towards the buyer’s side, the buyer starts reigning in the marketplace. Let me give you an example: time ago the US would buy enormous volumes of gas from Africa and Trinidad. Russia spent seven years and invested fortunes in developing Schtockman gas field. This project was being pursued exclusively with en eye on gas supplies to the US. But America came up with an alternative solution – shale gas extraction turning down Russia’s volumes. The shale gas project has been implemented and today the domestic gas price in the US is $90 for a thousand cubic meters. Obviously, this low price won’t last too long but now we are essentially talking about free gas compared to our prices.
All experts project that eventually the price will be stabilized at about a $200 level. Americans have met their gas requirement and today there is a surplus of gas worldwide. At the same time, Israel has discovered an immensely ample gas field and such volumes are really redundant for this country, they have to be sold somewhere.
India is developing which means they will be buying, so will China, so will Europe – perhaps less than they used to, but still. The distribution will be there. And who will be dictating prices in the market? Look at Gaz de France that is only buying 15-20 percent of Russian gas. The diversification is quite obvious.
What is my point? The time has come when Ukraine is in a unique position to bargain. We have one of the largest markets in Europe in terms of gas consumption. France consumes the most of 50-60 billion cubic meters of gas, Germany does 60-65 billion. Ukraine’s consumption is 20 billion of domestically produced gas importing an additional 40 billion. This is a huge market!
Throughout the entire 20-year period of our independence our problem was just one: we were enjoying cheap gas never caring about its alternative. Now, facing the price we are facing, finding such an alternative is a must. Question: where will be getting these 40 billion cubic meters from in five years? Declining Russian gas completely would not be right but importing all 100 percent of our requirement from Russia is not a solution either. In order to enhance the negotiations position, alternative supply sources are a must for Ukraine.
- To what extent can Ukraine advance in alternative energy sources utilization?
- Ukraine must look at the world with eyes wide open and make use of all available opportunities. The first alternative option is shale gas but its reserves must be very carefully assessed. In Poland, they announced that their deposits will suffice for both domestic demand and for export. What turned out at the end of the day was that new fields will only meet the country’s requirement for 30 years to come. This might sound not a bad proposition either but the projections didn’t come true. The second option is sea delivery. An LNF terminal has to be built. Given that it’s a buyer-driven rather than a seller-driven market, one might well expect that good long-term contracts can be entered into. Ukraine is perfectly in a position to buy the most of 50 rather than the whole 100 percent of gas from Russia. The solution will be found and trust me: the situation will change. Ukraine must have alternative sources of gas supply – that’s the way the whole civilized world is living these days.
- You acquired the Nikolayev port Nika-Tera. What gain is it for the Group?
- We bought it not incidentally, it is a vital asset for us. By the end of 2012, its throughput capacity will be extended to 10 million tons. And if we come to a final agreement with the government, we will have a 20-million-ton capacity eventually. And this is a completely different level. We will be able to reload a whole lot of different products. It is first and foremost advantageous for Ukraine. The port infrastructure advancement will bring about the development of shipping and trade which is about new jobs, new opportunities.
- What must the government do then?
- If we come to terms, the public sector’s job will be to build another railroad lay-by to the port, to build bypass roads, prepare the infrastructure for piers construction. This effort will require huge investments. But at the end of the end we will build one of the largest ports in the country! Developing the port infrastructure is one the top priorities for Ukraine. The port will secure the servicing of our freight turnover by 70-80 percent, i.e. we will be able to ship out all of our commodities and import all the inputs we need: sulfur, phosphates, etc. Besides, having such a port we will block other suppliers’ ability to delay the export shipments of Ukrainian fertilizers in peak seasons.
- Do you intend to reload grains?
- Of course, I think that in this year alone we will reload at least 5 million tons of exported grains.
- What are your plans in nitrogen production?
- The strategic objective for the whole production lineup is to increase outputs of higher added value products. We, for one, do not want to produce just ammonia and to then distribute it. We want to process ammonia and produce the fertilizers meeting with the growing demand – ammonia nitrate, urea, urea-ammoniac compound. We are ceasing the practice of being a feedstock appendix for foreign companies. Deeper processing will lend our production facilities a lot greater profitability. I think that in some 2-2.5 years Ukraine will stop selling ammonia at all – all its volumes will be processed. But if, for whatever reason, prices for ammonia do go up one day, we can always halt the production of ammonia nitrate and urea and switch back to ammonia.
- You have been pursuing some plans towards the internal market development. How are you planning to squeeze importers out of the domestic market?
- We are trying to structure Ukraine’s market in a way which will prevent from importers’ playing the master here. It has become possible after we consolidated the plants. We have been very seriously working with warehouses because it is very important for a customer to be able to not only buy fertilizers at a convenient place nearby but also to be able to store them. We have already acquired a large trading company UkrAgro NPK thus obtaining ownership in 16 warehouses across the country. By the end of summer 2013 we will have 36 warehouses. This will be enough to control the imports situation – importers do not have the storage capacity like this, we have an edge on them logistics-wise as we are closer to the customer while maintaining comparable prices. Besides, we are now negotiating with owners of two gas stations networks to see to it that small packages of our fertilizers can be vended at their stations, as it works in Europe. As a drive-through, anyone can buy 2 or 3 kg of ammonia nitrate or urea for their kitchen-garden. In other words, we will be having large wholesale and small retail capacities. My strong belief is that we have to outreach shop shelves. On these shelves, we want to sell not only fertilizers but also herbicides and other agrochemicals. Unfortunately, big supermarkets do not carry our fertilizers as yet, they are packed up with Polish and German imports. We’ll have this situation changed. Ukrainian fertilizers are not worse and are very competitive price-wise.
- What areas of chemical production other than nitrogen are you going to expand?
- We are quite seriously looking into petrochemical production. A 7-8 year program of this sector development will require some $2-2.5 billion. We want to expand our products assortment: methyl, polypropylene, ethylene, polystyrenes, as well as caprolactam, chemical fiber.
- Where will you source the feedstock, i.e. oil products from? Without them, there is no way planning this sector development, is there?
- We look into acquiring an oil refinery and a gas stations chain but at this time I will not disclose the company name.
- What other assets do you intend to acquire?
- At this time, we are negotiating with a major European fertilizers company. The bidding there is very tough – there are several very big international companies participating. All are very seriously committed to win and so are we since we have a plan of expanding our presence in the European market.
- How big is the company you are bidding for?
- These are big enterprises.
- Can you quote estimated budgets for your key sectors – petrochemicals, nitrogen and titanium businesses? What is the period of their implementation?
- At least 7 years. As far as budgets are concerned, I can only give very rough estimates. Here is what we have: petrochemicals – $2-2.5 billion, nitrogen segment – $1.5 – 2 billion. These costs do not include acquisition of new companies. I refer exclusively to reconstruction. In the titanium sector, we plan to invest about $2.4 – 2.7 billion.
- Quite a scale, indeed. In sum, you want to invest over $7 billion in the existing assets… And where, might we ask, will you take the money from?
- The first source is our own resources. We intend to spend them solely for initial construction and installation works, i.e. the site creation. This will consume about 25 – 30 % of the funding. The bulk of cash, as you may guess, will be channeled for acquiring the European equipment which will be funded with borrowings. We were building the sulfuric acid production facilities at Crimea TITAN along the same arrangement. We leased the equipment through an insurance company HERMES against 2-3 % annual interest rate while the leasing is set for 20 years. What better arrangement could one think of? It may seem that we are talking about huge investments but if you spread this amount along a 7-year period, it’s not too much.
- Still, your own money makes up at least $1.5 billion?
- Correct, of these $700-800 billion will account for a bank’s loan.
- A foreign one, perhaps?
- Certainly. We cannot borrow from Ukrainian banks. For instance, at Crimea TITAN'ssulfuric acid project we worked with European banks against a 4-5 % per annum rate. In that facility, we invested about 1 billion UAH of which 20 % were our own money.
- You mean, one fifth of the investment was you money?
- Yes. That is exactly how a leasing arrangement works. You must invest your own money to show you are solvent. In simple terms, if they lend a dollar, you have to invest your own 20 cents. Such cooperation is advantageous for us. Europeans support their equipment producers: they issue guarantees and loans thereby stimulating export. By the way, this is something our country is missing – export financial support programs. For instance, the German government uses a variety of guarantees schemes to support their engineering. That was the scheme that made it possible for us to build a sulfuric acid production facility – in essence, a brand new enterprise. There is a sale of equipment and metal going on, jobs are being created, R&D institutes get involved, assembly lines. All this evolves into a massive economic chain. Therefore, the government’s role in stimulating exports is enormous. The company we have built is just super! I mean it. This is Europe’s second company in terms of the high technology involvement. The first one was commissioned 18 months ago in Belgium. Trust me, there’s no other production in Europe like that.
- For quite a while, you had been struggling for securing feedstock for the titanium sector. Why did this situation arise?
- Foreign companies were fighting with me for 8 years seeking to neatly cover the entire titanium program in Ukraine. They didn’t need competition – all they needed was mining and processing compounds: direct access to raw materials (Volnogorsk and Irshansk MPC). We have fought two major wars over these 8 years which involved politicians and influential businessmen from other countries. I’ll be honest with you: I was fighting for myself. On the other hand though, I was fighting for the country too. MPCs are based in Ukraine, why give the control over them away to other countries? Earlier in April, the State Property Fund signed an agreement with us extending the MPCs’ leasehold period. The assessment has been completed, we have been paying a fair rent. I am developing MPCs, invest in them. Besides the two existing MPCs, two new projects are being pursued: the Stremigorsk deposit in Zhytomyr region – one of the world’s largest titanium deposits, as well as Matrono-Annovsk deposit in Dnepropetrovsk region. We want to use our resources more efficiently, instead of selling titano ferrite, we want to have the first process stage to produce slag.
- Will buyers agree to purchasing slag rather than titano ferrite?
- Russians have already agreed. They understood that winning is not a possibility. But the life has proven that they are ready to buy slag rather than titano ferrite. Those were quite tough negotiations. But the logics of life always prevail. If we want to be a player in the titanium market, we have to keep our position strong. We are being respected already. Take my word for it: in some five years from now, we will rank second or third in the titanium metal and sponge market worldwide. And the conclusion is simple: one has to stand by his position.
- Are you referring to the world market share with account for the production at Zaporozhye Titanium and Magnesium Plant?
- Yes. According to our program, this company will be able to produce 40 thousand tons of titanium sponge – provided that the titanium holding is ultimately founded in the shape as I described earlier, including all our assets. And this program has to be initiated as soon as possible. We have acquired a plant in Italy, and by and large we have reoriented towards reprocessing of rods, rolls, pipes. We have been working with Airbus already. With all honesty, the world didn’t expect this kind of a headlong leap forward from us. Quite recently, ZTMC would only produce 4-5 thousand tons of poor quality sponge. Now it’s 9 thousand tons. This is too little. The plant is way too weak, in fact. The high production cost results from high energy cost and outdated equipment. There are old little boiler installed there. Historically, this company has suffered a rotation of many managers, debts would accumulate, bureaucrats would make money while the plant faced no future. But, I hope, it does now. We are looking forward to the tender announcement and are committed to participating in it. I am positive: establishment of a powerful, vertically integrated titanium holding is exactly what the entire economy of Ukraine needs at this time.
- If things are so sad, why don’t you build a new plant? Why would you need somebody else’s old problems?
- If ZTMC is halted now Ukraine will be out of the market. Building a new enterprise will take several years. During this time, Ukraine may be committed to oblivion. Re-entering a market is far more difficult. For this reason our vision is about maintaining the old production simultaneously building new facilities – up-to-date, high-tech, powerful. It could be a 20-thousand-ton capacity thing. Then, old shops might be taken down to Earth and another 20-thousander can be put up in its place. I am fully aware that I will have to sacrifice quite a bit of cash to help Ukraine stay afloat in the world titanium market until new facilities and new products are there. But there is no other way. I think that it will be the same scenario as it was the case at Crimea TITAN. Before I came in, the plant’s output was 30 thousand tons of titanium dioxide while by the end of this year, it will have been producing 120 thousand tons. We do not have a distribution problem, we know where to sell the product. We have our in-house lab, too. If an Italian customer is developing a new products line, whether paper or paint, they will communicate the background information to the lab and we will tailor our product to their needs. I’ll tell you more: at Crimea TITAN, we are starting the construction of another facility with a capacity of 120 thousand tons. Thus, we will end up with the total of 240 thousand tons of titanium dioxide produced in the Crimea. The same pattern may be used at Sumyhimprom. At the moment, their output is 40 thousand tons but potentially they can do 160 thousand! If the production is increased, Ukraine will double its share and will account for 6– 8 percent of the world titanium dioxide market!
- Why do you “bet” on titanium?
- Titanium is about space exploration, this is the world of today and tomorrow. When I was putting Crimea TITAN straight, it already had been clear to me that each invested dollar will yield me 10 dollars. Americans invested $30 billion in the Moon exploration program, remember? The fact that it has paid back at least $300 billion has now been forgotten somehow. But all the technologies widely used in the world were a fruit of the Moon program. We are a big country featuring a huge potential. I can see Airbus and Boeing developing, the aerospace industry is evolving. I am sure that titanium is the future. And I am sure that sooner rather than later there will be shortage of titanium products. At the moment, there are four contenders fighting for this market: China, Russia, Kazakhstan and the US. We, for some reason, are not there! Ukraine however can rank second in this market. My philosophy is simple: once I’ve said something, I’ll make it happen. I will not sleep, I will not breathe but I will make it happen if I have taken up responsibility. I have no doubts whatsoever that the sooner we create the vertically integrated titanium holding the better it will be for Ukraine.
- Why did you choose to sponsor Tavriya football club? Is it part of some plan? Or you just couldn’t decline?
- Tavriya is the team of the entire Crimea. I appreciate it that this team and football at large matter immensely for Crimea residents. I can see it because I am a shareholder in two Crimean companies. We have agreed with Crimean authorities a while ago that I will be supporting Tavriya, and I won’t abandon them. I deliver what I promise.
- You are an altruist then?
- No, not at all. But I stand by my beliefs. We do not lay people off. For example, Severodonetsk Azot needs just 2.5-2.8 thousand employees while in reality there are 8.7 thousand working there. My CEOs are twisting their brains off thinking how all those people can be evenly loaded with work. This is a big problem. But just imagine what is going to happen if they are laid off? What will they do and how will the life in the city change?
- They might leave or go out drinking booze and robbing people. Ending up with crime anyway.
- That’s right. But what I need is stability. If you want to have a good plant, if you want it to operate, you have to care about the people and the community they live in. You can take a look at how much our companies have spent for social infrastructure over the past years. And these programs remain under way. I am sure there is no alternative to acting that way today.
The cities like Severodonetsk, Armiansk or Krasnoperekopsk (and mind you: there 120 cities like that across Ukraine) entirely depend on one enterprise. And we at the Federation believe that the government must apply a very special approach to such cities.
- Is Euro 2012 a chance for Ukraine?
- Just look: stadiums, airports are being built. We arrived in Lviv recently after a long while I had not been there. I got out of the plane and said: look, guys, whatever whoever says, this airport wouldn’t have been a reality but for Euro. Let me say more: now they will have to do something as the operation of a modern airport requires a strong infrastructure attached to it. They need to carry forward a tourism program in the Carpathians, to make sure the airport throughput is loaded to a maximum extent, at least in terms of domestic flights. One thing, though, that missed attention, I think, is that Simferopol had to have been included in the list of cities hosting Euro. The Crimea does need it badly as it is a tourism center of Ukraine. Will people travel that intensively to Donetsk and Kharkiv after the Euro Cup is over? If we had a top – class airport in the Crimea, plus a good stadium, good roads and hotels, we would have met at least 40 % of the regional development requirement. Hosting games in Lviv makes a perfect sense as there are spas and resorts next door – the Carpathians, Morshyn, Truskavets. The facilities built for Euro will be successfully operated after the Cup.
- How do you visualize yourself and your company in 10 years?
- I feel very comfortable in business. I don’t know what is down the road for me in life but I have a crystal clear understanding of what I want. And here are my expectations: Group DF will be a Ukrainian company of a global scale. I hope that in the titanium industry, including in metallurgy, we will rank second or third, at worst. I think it will be a great victory for us. It will be quite challenging to compete with the most technologically advanced countries like the US, Russia and China. But we will go ahead and do it. This is something we can achieve quite realistically thereby raising the bar of Ukraine as a state. And I will be part of this effort.