The Oregonian, February 13, 2013
By Scott Learn
A Seattle environmental think tank that opposes coal exports to Asia through the Northwest blasted the finances of one of the key players today, Australia’s Ambre Energy.
Ambre is seeking to build two coal export terminals on the Columbia River, one in Boardman and one in Longview, Wash., to ship Montana and Wyoming coal to Asia.
Among the financial downsides highlighted by the Sightline Institute: Ambre’s $124 million in accumulated losses since it began in 2005; its failure on its only coal mining play in Australia; and roughly $65 million in loans with rates ranging from 10 percent to 12 percent.
Sightline researcher Clark Williams-Derry, who wrote a 17-page report on Ambre’s finances, called the company a “high-risk, unstable startup” in a conference call with reporters this morning.
He warned that ports banking on Ambre for jobs and investment could be disappointed.
Communities could “be stuck with a local business partner that’s really volatile,” Williams-Derry said.