With MoU for 500MW gas-to-power plant with local consortium, Invictus shows its ambitions

Fresh from discovering gas at its Muzarabani project, Invictus Energy is looking to the future by signing an updated MoU that may see the construction of a 500MW gas-to-power project in Zimbabwe.

Securing customers for future gas output is key to helping Invictus raise capital to develop its Mukuyu gas field, which has just made Zimbabwe’s first-ever gas find. By securing potential off-takers for the gas it may produce, Invictus is making itself more attractive to potential financiers. Invictus and local partner One Gas Resources have signed a gas supply MoU with Mbuyu Energy, a consortium of Zimbabwean businesses that includes Tatanga Energy and Mangwana Capital, a shareholder in Invictus.

The MoU is a precursor to the negotiation for a long-term agreement. The plant could be expanded to 1,000MW in future, which would find a customer for roughly 1.4tn cubic feet of natural gas over two decades. For now, the two entities have agreed they can build a 50MW plant, powered by any gas that Invictus may extract from its exploration wells.

This latest agreement updates a 2019 MoU signed between Invictus and Tatanga, which has a licence to build a 400MW solar plant for Sable Chemicals with Masawara.

“The parties may fast-track the development and construction of an up to 50MW pilot power plant designed to make use of gas produced from the second Mukuyu exploration well, or any subsequent exploration or appraisal well,” Invictus says in a statement.

The companies have done studies to find the best locations that can supply into the grid and feed into the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). Invictus’ Mukuyu gas field lies within 100 kilometres of three major interconnectors to the SAPP grid. Invictus MD Scott Macmillan said the MoU is a step towards his company’s push to commercialise the project after the gas find. “The potential offtake is a substantial volume of gas of up to 1.4 trillion cubic feet which will underpin the commercialisation of the Mukuyu gas field,” he says.

Mbuyu Energy director, Tunde Akerele, says: “This MoU signifies a critical step forward in transitioning Zimbabwe away from its reliance on coal power generation and towards a more diversified energy mix that includes natural gas and renewables.”

Tatanga Energy plans to build a 50MW solar plant at Sable Chemicals, the first phase of a planned 400MW project. It also holds a licence for a 100MW wind project on the Great Dyke, to be developed with Spanish energy developer Enerfin. Tatanga last year commissioned the first phase of a 5MW solar plant at St Patrick’s in the Midlands, and in October signed an agreement to build solar mini-grids at nine institutions across Manicaland.

ALSO READ | Finally, Invictus Energy has discovered gas in Zimbabwe. What now? Here’s all you need to know