The Cabora Bassa project poised to make Zimbabwe energy sufficient

HARARE – The ability to access energy is a basic human right, a cornerstone of the global economy, and beneficial to the entire population of Africa. Energy security has emerged as a major issue within the current geopolitical context. If the Cabora Bassa project is successful, it is anticipated to offer a consistent local supply, enhancing Zimbabwe’s independence and spurring the expansion of its energy-related infrastructure. The business plan for Invictus demonstrates its dedication to playing a large and effective role in assisting with the dual challenge of the energy transition in cutting emissions while also guaranteeing energy security, and “we are proud of our positioning within this vital and dynamic industry.”

At the Cabora Bassa project in northern Zimbabwe, Invictus Energy has made great strides and is about to drill one of the largest conventional oil and gas prospects in the world this year. “We remain ambitious with our plans to expand and build on our achievements to date, drilling two basin-opening wells, building a carbon offset business, and continuing to evaluate new ventures that fit within our strategy,” the company said in its 2022 annual report. During the market slowdown brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and well before the drilling campaign, prudent management assisted Invictus in securing long-lead products and pertinent contractors. The company has been partly protected from the current market upheaval and inflationary pressures thanks to this conservative management.

The $20 million (plus an additional $25 million after deciding to solely fund the drilling campaign) raised through private placements to knowledgeable and institutional investors, along with an additional $3.7 million raised through the conversion of options during the financial year, further strengthen the company’s financial position.
A variety of current shareholders and new investors have backed the capital increases, putting the company in a solid position to self-fund the drilling of the Mukuyu-1 and Baobab-1 wells. Not only could a discovery at Mukuyu-1 or Baobab-1 change Invictus and its shareholders, but it may also have a profound impact on Zimbabwe and the larger southern African energy market.

Zimbabweans experience frequent power outages as a result of Zesa Holdings’ inability to satisfy demand, and the state-owned utility finds it difficult to pay for privately produced electricity due to a lack of foreign currency. When compared to a reported peak demand of 2,200 MW, only 1,103 MW of the 2,045 MW total installed capacity is currently operational, increasing the nation’s dependency on imported electricity to make up the difference. Mining and industry, which continue to be the main consumers of the fuel, are likely to increase their need for power as a result of the government’s initiative to resuscitate inactive mines. The nation has been on an aggressive campaign to revive existing power stations and increase their operations since it is aware of the need for better power supply.

This coincides with an increasing push for rural electrification and a predicted doubling of the demand for power to illuminate the nation’s mines. The total energy consumption across the 69 nations covered by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Industry service will increase by just 1.3% in 2023 as a result of the slowing global economy and high energy prices. This will be the second year in a row when consumption growth has been slow. We predict that consumption will only grow by 0.9% in 2022 due to record-high prices and a decrease in Russian gas and oil supplies.

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