Equipment failures or production curtailments or shutdowns
Our production capacities are subject to the risk of equipment failures due to unanticipated events, such as fires, explosions and adverse weather conditions. Manufacturing processes depend on critical pieces of steelmaking and pipe-making equipment. Such equipment may, on occasion, be out of service as a result of unanticipated failures could require us to close part of the relevant production facility or cause to reduce production on one or more of production lines. Any interruption in production capability may require us to make significant and unanticipated capital expenditures to affect relevant repairs, which could have a negative effect on our profitability and cash flows. We currently maintain insurance against losses that may arise in case of property damage, accidents and transportation of goods. We also maintain corporate product liability and directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policies. Nevertheless, any recoveries under insurance coverage that may be obtained in the future may not offset lost revenues or increased costs resulting from a disruption of operations.
Insurance against all potential risks and losses
We do not carry insurance against all potential risks and losses that may arise in connection with the quality of our products, property damage, work-related accidents and occupational illnesses, natural disasters and environmental contamination. We currently maintain no business interruption insurance. Losses or liabilities arising from these or other events could increase our costs and could adversely affect our business, financial position and operating results.
Ability to effect staff alterations and shortages of skilled labor
Our Russian subsidiaries are in many regions the largest employers in the cities in which they operate, such as Volzhsky, Taganrog, Kamensk-Uralsky and Polevskoy. While we do not have any specific legal social obligations or responsibilities with respect to these regions, the ability to effect alterations in the number our employees may nevertheless be subject to political and social considerations. Any inability to make planned reductions in the number of employees or other changes to operations in such regions could have an adverse effect on the results of operations and prospects.
Competition for skilled labor in the steel pipe industry remains relatively intense, and labor costs continue to increase moderately, particularly in the CIS, Eastern Europe and the United States. We expect the demand and, hence, costs for skilled engineers and operators will continue to increase, reflecting the significant demand from other metallurgical companies and other industries. Continual high demand for skilled labor and continued increases in labor costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.
Furthermore, any work stoppages, strikes or other labor-related developments could have an adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.