Invictus signs MoU for 500MW gas-to-power project

Invictus Energy Limited managing director Scott Macmillan

AUSTRALIAN energy firm, Invictus Energy Limited, has signed a renewable energy deal with Zimbabwean consortium Mbuyu Energy, to supply gas for a proposed 500-megawatt (MW) power plant, following its recent carbon fuel discovery.

After declaring a gas discovery at its second drill site in its Cabora Bassa project, located in the district of Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central province, northeast of Zimbabwe, Invictus has secured its second major deal involving the carbon fuel.

Mbuyu Energy is led by independent power producer (IPP) developer Tatanga Energy and is a consortium which includes existing Invictus institutional shareholder Mangwana Opportunities Fund.

Invictus yesterday said the agreement would see the construction of a gas-to-electricity conversion plant that will generate 500MW with a possibility to upscale it to 1 000MW.

“Following the recent confirmation of the discovery of gas at the Cabora Bassa Project, the updated MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) builds on the previous MoU signed in December 2019 with Tatanga Energy. The MoU is a precursor to the negotiation of a full long-term gas sale agreement to supply sufficient gas to power the proposed plant,” Invictus said yesterday.

It said the plant could be expanded in phases in future up to 1 000MW, equating to a forecast demand of approximately 1,4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas over 20 years.

“The updated MoU will see the parties work together to assess the feasibility of developing the project utilising gas produced from the Mukuyu field or any other field developed in the Cabora Bassa project,” Invictus said.

“The power project will be developed in line with world-class standards and will support the further integration of renewable sources of energy into the national grid.”

The announcement of the MoU comes at a time when the existing power generation facilities are generating between 1 000MW and 1 500MW against a national demand estimated at over 2 000MW, giving the new project the potential to cover the power deficit.

Invictus said the power project would be designed to minimise its environmental footprint and will utilise an efficient combined cycle gas turbine configuration that will incorporate cutting-edge carbon reduction technologies.

“The development of the gas-to-power project will be synchronised with the broader development of the Mukuyu field and the Cabora Bassa project as a whole including gas production, transportation and the processing infrastructure required to provide natural gas feedstock to the power plant,” it said.

Invictus added that preliminary feasibility studies had identified several suitable locations that provided the ability to supply electricity through the local grid as well as potentially export to customers through the Southern Africa Power Pool (Sapp).

“The Mukuyu gas field is located within 100km of three major interconnectors to the Sapp grid which provides the ability to export power to any country in the region,” it said.

The firm said Mbuyu would talk to several existing high energy demand power offtakers including large-scale miners, industrial and other large-scale users of energy — many of whom currently import their electricity from neighbouring countries.

“Natural gas and power are in high demand in southern Africa due to increasing supply shortages of natural gas from mature fields that are now in decline, the retirement of over 10 000MW of aging coal-fired power infrastructure in the region and the increasing adoption of gas for industrial use and as a source of cleaner energy,” Invictus managing director Scott Macmillan said.

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