AUSTRALIA-listed Invictus Energy—plans to construct a gas-powered electricity plant, a senior official has said, but did not provide details regarding the expected generation capacity and the amount to be invested.
Invictus is exploring oil and gas in Muzarabani and Mbire districts in Mashonaland Central Province and results from the seismic survey have indicated the presence of hydrocarbons, an organic compound consisting of light oil, helium, and gas.
Early this year, it announced it had found natural gas and oil reserves, but technical hiccups experienced on the Mukuyu-1 well prevented the company from extracting a fluid sample to fulfill regulatory requirements to declare a commercial discovery.
However, due to encouraging confirmatory results of hydrocarbon presence obtained from the Mukuyu-1 well, Invictus has indicated that the drilling campaign on the Mukuyu-2 would begin on Sunday. Nearly 4,000 meters were drilled on Mukuyu 1.
In an interview on Wednesday after a media tour of the Mukuyu-2 well site where the drilling rig has already been mounted, Geo Associates managing director Mr Paul Chimbodza, whose company is the licence holder for the 700 000-hectare prospective area also known as the Cabora Bassa Basin said: “It’s very important in the context that if you look at the Vision 2030, it is underpinned by a number of enablers and one of those key enablers is the supply of adequate electricity.
“And this project could go a long way in not only making Zimbabwe energy sufficient but we hope that Zimbabwe could actually be a net exporter of power into the region.
“The biggest economy in the region is South Africa and they have got a huge power deficit.
“Some of the coal-fired power plants are going to be decommissioned so there is going to be in need for power.”
Mr Chimbodza said the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) provided the company with an opportunity to generate power for the region. The new projects in various economic sectors locally and regionally would exacerbate the power deficit, he said.
Investment drought in new power generations ha seen the SADC region experiencing power challenges. For instance, South Africa, which is the largest economy in the region, has since 2003 been experiencing rolling blackouts in its power grid.
“We think that the space is an electricity generator space rather than an off-taker space.
“Everyone is scrambling for power supply and we would like to service that space starting with our home country, making Zimbabwe energy sufficient and feed surplus into the region. The Cabora Bassa Basin is the largest untested structure of its kind in Africa and we are quite upbeat from the results that we got from Mukuyu-1.”
In context, other jurisdictions in eastern Africa for instance, Mr Chimbodza said more than 200 wells were drilled before proclaiming commercial discovery of oil and gas.
“For us to hit positive results in our first well speaks volumes about the bright prospects of this area.” – Herald