Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is Ambre Energy North America?

Ambre Energy North America, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a subsidiary of Ambre Energy, an Australian company founded in 2005 by CEO and Managing Director Edek Choros. Since 2006, Ambre Energy has been evaluating coal regions and deposits in the U.S. to identify acquisition opportunities located close to rail infrastructure. Ambre Energy launched the Morrow Pacific project to establish an export facility on the U.S. West Coast to provide access to growing Asia-Pacific markets for U.S. thermal coal.

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How many jobs will the project create?

Overall, the Morrow Pacific project will create more than 2,100 construction jobs and more than 1,000 operations jobs. Read more in the ECONorthwest report.

Locally, the transfer facility will create 25 new jobs in Morrow County. The project will also create 25 new jobs in Columbia County where the coal is transferred to oceangoing barges. These will be well-paying jobs with benefits, with average salaries in the range of $50,000 to $90,000.

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How will this benefit our community?

In addition to creating needed jobs, the Morrow Pacific project will also benefit schools. The project will make a voluntary contribution of $300,000 to $800,000 per year to Morrow County schools, and a similar amount to Columbia County schools, based on a 10-cent-per-ton contribution. This is above and beyond support provided through property taxes and port revenue.

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How much coal will be transported annually?

Initially, Morrow Pacific anticipates shipping approximately 3.5 million metric tons of coal per year. At full capacity, 8 million metric tons per year could be shipped.

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Where will the coal be shipped?

Morrow Pacific anticipates that the project will ship coal to Japan, South Korea or Taiwan.

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What is the process for protecting the environment?

The project has been extensively reviewed by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies. Morrow Pacific welcomes the process and is committed to meet or exceed all environmental standards.

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What mechanisms are in place to protect the Columbia River?

Morrow Pacific is committed to meeting or exceeding high environmental standards to protect workers, the Columbia River and air quality. The project is designed to eliminate dust and spillage in every step. Barges will be covered. Loading and storage facilities will be enclosed, and dust suppression systems will be used as the coal is moved from the trains to the storage facilities, from the storage facilities to the barge, and from the barges to oceangoing vessels.

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What are the advantages of using barges to move the coal downriver?

Barging offers greater capacity, reduced rail and traffic congestion, reduced emissions (including greenhouse gas emissions) and greater energy efficiency. The same process is used every day to move other bulk commodities on the river.

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Why are some groups opposed to this development?

Some groups are opposed to all forms of coal energy. Nevertheless, coal accounts for 30 percent of global energy use and generates 40 percent of the world’s electricity. Even though use of renewable resources is rising, the use of coal globally is projected to increase by an average of 1.8 percent per year through 2040.