A Seattle think tank is questioning the financial stability of an Australian company that wants to build two controversial coal exports terminals in Oregon and Washington.
Sightline Institute issued the report. The Seattle-based think tank has been critical of proposals to transport coal through the Northwest for export overseas. It’s research findings released Wednesday focused on Ambre Energy.
“It’s undercapitalized, it’s got lots of weakness on its balance sheet, it’s got lots of expenses, it’s got very low revenues. It is a very high-risk company operating in a very high-risk game,” said Sightline researcher Clark Williams-Derry, who reviewed the finances of Ambre Energy and authored the report.
In its most recent annual report, Ambre’s auditor gave the company a warning. It had to raise more money. If it didn’t, it would burn through its cash reserves within 12 months and jeopardize its viability.
Ambre spokesman Brian Gard says the company already has met that challenge.
“We’ve raised at least $25 million and as with any development company raising capital is an ongoing activity that we have been very successful at it for the past few years,” Gard said. “I don’t see any reason why we won’t continue to be successful.”
Gard said Ambre is partnered with well-established companies and has financing through a private equity firm.
Arch Coal holds a minority stake in Ambre’s proposed export terminal in Longview, Washington.
Ambre’s other proposed coal terminal is in Boardman, Oregon.
Both projects must undergo environmental reviews and secure several permits before government agencies give them the go ahead.
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