Coal | FTI Consulting
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Coal

The coal industry is managing through significant challenges and opportunities: ever-changing regulations, markets, competition and technology are impacting both the demand for coal and the cost of moving it. Exporting coal has become a more viable strategy for some domestic coal producers around the world; in the U.S., some producers have been economizing. The senior experts at FTI Consulting have spent years working for coal companies, railroads, utilities and regulatory agencies, and understand the complex interdependencies and challenges in coal companies and supply chains — and how to help you best manage them.


Areas of Expertise

Extraction

Exporting coal has become a feasible strategy for some domestic coal producers around the globe. In the U.S., some coal producers have retrenched due to customer difficulty in complying with rule changes and regulatory mandates, shale gas becoming a more abundant, cheaper alternative fuel, and competition from renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

Transportation & Logistics

Several factors influence the cost of moving coal, including technology changes, supply chain disruptions, and the fact that it requires highly specialized labor and consistent ratable shipping volumes to achieve economies of scale. Disruptions create adverse economic impacts for all stakeholders — something our energy experts understand deeply, so there’s little or no learning curve required in bringing our expertise to bear for clients.


How We Help

Disputes

Around the world, coal suppliers, transportation providers and end users rely on our market knowledge, clear understanding of the current regulatory environment, and methodological frameworks and analytical tools to provide powerful dispute resolution solutions, timely responses and expert testimony. We help coal companies handle internal disputes, including labor disputes and health and welfare benefits disputes. We also assist in external disputes, including contract disputes with railroads and end users like electric utilities and steel companies. Clients lean on our expertise to help them bring disputes to swift resolutions while minimizing economic damages and achieving the best possible outcomes for all parties involved.

Interim Management

The success of a restructuring, merger, acquisition, carveout, spin-off or divestiture may depend on how quickly management voids can be filled once the deal is done. When client organizations face leadership, financial or operational challenges, our professionals who have C-level experience frequently step in to serve as interim CEOs, CFOs, chief operating officers, chief restructuring officers, controllers and treasurers. Our credentials and experience as executive leaders gives us the strategic decision-making ability to maintain momentum, establish corporate priorities, build morale and provide critical continuity.

Investigations

Frequently, regulators or parties in a transportation contract initiate investigations to corroborate issues such as transportation rate reasonableness and revenue adequacy, fair trade practices or service deterioration. Clients rely on our extensive experience in working for coal companies, railroads, utilities and government agencies when they require support in responding to or carrying out investigations. We bring our deep understanding of how government regulations are initiated and implemented, as well as how commercial contract disputes are adjudicated, to ensure comprehensive and successful investigations on behalf of our clients.

Policy

Coal is one of the most heavily regulated industries, and regulations and pending legislation have one thing in common: they’re subject to change. Coal companies must influence that change to the greatest extent possible. Because many of our experts have spent their careers working for regulators, where they’ve authored some of the regulations governing the coal industry, we have unique insight into the policymaking process. We can quickly assess the economic impact that proposed regulations and legislation may have on your matters, evaluate potential compliance difficulties, and determine what modifications to regulations and legislation are necessary to benefit you the most.

Restructuring

Our senior experts, who previously worked for coal companies and understand their capital structure, have worked on every recent major coal company restructuring. When they need support in such situations, clients rely on our established methodological framework and deep expertise in the financial analytics that support a coal company’s survival.

Strategic & Business Consulting

All market participants — in coal mining and extraction, transportation and end users — face capital investment decisions, and need an accurate short- and long-term picture to base their operations upon. When they need to uncover every opportunity to become a leaner, more efficient operator, they turn to FTI Consulting. To assess the future, we evaluate government forecasts, including coal demand projections, future energy market clearing prices and regulatory requirements. Our economic modeling measures the impact of technological changes associated with renewable energy and competitive fuels. We create models to analyze various scenarios and identify the potential near- and long-term outcomes, improving the probability of success for capital expenditure decision making.

Strategic Communications

Navigating the coal industry’s public policy challenges requires communications and public affairs strategies that are analytical, focused and based on depth of experience. Our senior strategic communications professionals have worked for various utilities that deal with coal issues, in the media reporting on the coal industry, and in the U.S., on Capitol Hill, in pivotal positions at the EPA, and in state government. Clients turn to us when they need help to develop and hone their communications strategies, drawing on our deep understanding of industry fundamentals, environmental implications, market participants and politics.

Transaction Advisory

In today’s uncertain market conditions, companies involved in coal transportation or logistics must focus acutely on asset management. Intelligent contract design and asset management — buying, selling and sharing assets for risk diversification — can provide protection in the event of a market downturn. Our senior professionals draw upon their extensive financial, operations and industry experience to structure transactions that create a stronger competitive position for our clients.

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