More southern Montana coal interests went overseas to Australia over the holiday weekend with a hope from Governor Brian Schweitzer that a Chinese company will also purchase coal ownership in the region. The purchase continues a trend of foreign energy interest purchases in the Mondak region in recent months.
This particular purchase brings some fresh investment into a pocket of the Mondak less affected by the oil, gas and uranium rush and also has the potential to buildup an element in the energy industry – shipping – which is vitally needed in the Portland-Vancouver region which has not enjoyed the luxury of economic recovery and job abundance seen in the Mondak. Ambre started purchase attempts in 2010 at West Hayden Island, just a few yards outside of the city limits of Portland, Oregon. The proposal brought immediate backlash from conservation groups and instead they purchased real estate outside of Longview, Washington. It appears Ambre clearly understood the intentions of the City of Portland. In September, the City of Portland offered an annexation plan for the land. Comments closed on that proposal on November 7, 2011. They have further announced that in 2012 EcoNorthwest will release under contract a cost benefit analysis of the plan. The outcome of that planning process could have direct impact on the pocket of communities invested in by Amber 1,200 miles away in Montana and Wyoming.
Ambre Energy Limited said it bought a 50 percent interest in the Decker Coal Company in southern Montana along with an interest in other coal reserves in the region. The company did not disclose the price. They have already bought a shipping port near Longview, Washington where the coal will be railed then loaded to ship. The Australian company intends to ship the coal to Asia. Ambre Energy and others have shown additional interest in property on West Hayden Island just a few yards outside of the city limits of Portland, Oregon.
Asian population and economic growth has called for additional coal and oil resources. Two weeks ago TransCanada announced they are looking to supply needed oil to the Asian market.
Ambre acquired the collection of assets by buying a company called KCP, Inc., from Level 3 Communications of Broomfield, Colorado. Ambre will share the Montana mine with Cloud Peak Energy, and a Wyoming mine with Anadarko Petroleum.
Ambre CEO Edek Choros said in a release that the company, which is developing coal port capabilities on the West Coast, wants to have a “vertically integrated business, including the sale of U.S. thermal coal to customers in Asia and Europe.”