Coal company rapped by research group

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Associated Press

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 2:33 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An environmental research group says an Australian company seeking to ramp up U.S. coal shipments to Asia has financial problems that could hobble its export ambitions.

The Seattle-based Sightline Institute said Wednesday that a review of Ambre Energy's finances shows it is falling deeply into debt and faces hundreds of millions of dollars in mine-cleanup liabilities.

Ambre is seeking to expand shipping terminals in Oregon and Washington to export coal, including from recently-purchased company mines in Wyoming and Montana.

The company said in a statement that the Sightline report was biased.

Ambre says it has solid financial backing from Colorado-based Resource Capital Funds. It also has a coal supply agreement with two Korean companies and a joint venture deal with industry giant Arch Coal, Inc. for Washington's proposed Millennium port.

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