“Cloud Peak’s claims are unfounded and we will vigorously defend this attempt to remove KCP as manager,” said Everett King, President and CEO of Ambre Energy North America. “Since Ambre acquired its interest in Decker in November 2011, we have increased operational efficiency at the mine while meeting contractual supply obligations, conducting all required reclamation activities and maintaining a safe and productive workplace,” added King. “We want to build on the services and product that Decker has been providing to its customers for the past 40 years.”

The dispute stems from Cloud Peak’s insistence that Decker should be closed after 2013. Cloud Peak owns the Spring Creek mine, which is a direct competitor to the Decker mine and is located immediately adjacent to Decker. Prior to Ambre’s acquisition of its Decker interests, production at Spring Creek had steadily risen at the same time that production at Decker declined. It is Ambre Energy’s desire to see sales and production at Decker restored to prior levels.

In a prepared statement from Ambre, the company said Cloud Peak alleges that Ambre plans to engage in “self-dealing transactions” designed to cut Cloud Peak out of Decker’s future export-related profits. This accusation presupposes that Cloud Peak is entitled, through its interest in Decker, to access Ambre’s port infrastructure, which is simply not the case.

Ambre’s infrastructure division is engaged in the permitting and pre-construction engineering phases of two export infrastructure projects in the Pacific Northwest. These projects are massive undertakings that will address a major constraint on the U.S. coal export market. Once the port capacity is in place, Ambre Energy’s international marketing division will seek to purchase coal from western U.S. producers to fill existing supply agreements with Asian buyers.