Invictus signs another  gas power supply deal Invictus Energy Limited managing director Mr Scott MacMillan

Golden Sibanda

Invictus Energy Limited has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dallaglio Investments and Himoinsa Southern Africa for a proposed gas-to-power project to supply electricity to the Eureka Gold Mine.

This comes after the company in December last year announced the discovery of one condensate gas at its Mukuyu-2 exploration site in Mbire, Mashonaland Central province, north of Zimbabwe.

Invictus, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, described the gas find, touted to be the largest onshore Africa, as a potential game changer for Zimbabwe’s economic growth and the country’s energy security, among other benefits.

The country faces an acute shortage of power, which is normally managed through many hours of rationed supply, which negatively impacts activities across the economy and households.

The Government early last year completed the 600 megawatt (MW) extension of Hwange Power Station’s generation capacity as part of several initiatives authorities are pursuing to end power shortages in the country.

The El Nino weather phenomenon has worsened shortages in the country as it has caused a further decline in water available for power generation at Kariba hydro-power station, which is Zimbabwe’s second-largest power facility after Hwange.

Invictus Energy and One Gas Resources, through Geo Associates (80 percent held by Invictus), have since executed an MoU with Dallaglio and Himoinsa to supply natural gas from the company’s Cabora Bassa project as feedstock for a gas-to-power project to Eureka, one of Zimbabwe’s largest mines, owned and operated by Dallaglio.

The Eureka project is located 50km south of the Mukuyu gas field.

This follows an earlier gas sale MoU for a 500 megawatts (MW) gas-to-power project Invictus Energy and One Gas Resources recently executed with Mbuyu Energy, a Zimbabwean consortium led by independent power producer (IPP) developer Tatanga Energy.

The proposed power generation plant and equipment will be provided by Himoinsa with a notional capacity of 12 megawatts (MW), with the ability to increase the plant capacity size up to 50MW.

Invictus managing director Scott MacMillan said the power generated would be supplied to Eureka or other private off-takers through the local grid or into the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) if excess supply is available.

“Signing this MOU is a major step forward in our early commercialisation strategy and demonstrates the immediate monetisation opportunities available to Invictus as we look to progress the Cabora Bassa project following our significant gas discovery at Mukuyu.

“We are pleased to be partnering with one of the largest gold producers in the country in Dallaglio and one of the leading power generation solutions companies in Himoinsa for our planned pilot project.

“Eureka’s proximity to Mukuyu and available infrastructure make this an ideal pilot project and provides us with line of sight to early first production, revenue generation and proof of concept for future full field developments and large-scale gas-to-power projects.

“The high-quality gas composition confirmed from Mukuyu-2 requires minimal surface processing of the gas stream, which enables the implementation of a near-term pilot project utilising a low-cost production system at the well site and existing infrastructure to deliver gas and power to end users.

“We look forward to working closely with Himoinsa and Dallaglio to complete the feasibility study over the coming months in tandem with our high-impact field activity to progress the project into implementation,” Mr MacMillan said.

Following recent confirmation of the Mukuyu gas-condensate discovery at the Cabora Bassa project, Invictus is positioning itself to capture early monetisation opportunities and accelerate timelines to first production and revenue generation.

The high-quality natural gas discovered at Mukuyu-2 contains minimal impurities and allows for a simple early production system at the well site to produce for gas to be used in power generation or compressed natural gas for delivery to onsite power generation at Eureka.

This will minimise the company’s capital and surface processing infrastructure requirements for the pilot project as well as in future full-field developments.

The MOU provides flexibility to grow the pilot project incrementally through modular expansion as the resource base grows and additional power off-takers are signed up.

The pilot will also provide proof of concept for future full-field development and large-scale gas-to-power project development.

A feasibility study will be undertaken to determine the optimal delivery of power to Eureka – either well site generation of power and wheeling, utilising the existing grid infrastructure which is located within 5 kilometres of Mukuyu-2, or onsite generation with natural gas transported via truck between well site and the power plant.

Following the completion of the feasibility study, Invictus and Himoinsa intend to execute a binding gas sale and purchase agreement (GSPA), under which the company will provide natural gas to Himoinsa, which in turn will provide power generation equipment and supply electricity to Dallaglio at Eureka, under back-to-back GSPA and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Part of the feasibility study involves the company assessing the use of Mukuyu-2, post-well-testing, as a producer in the pilot project.

Expansion of the pilot can be matched to gas deliverability from the Mukuyu gas field through Himoinsa’s turnkey power generation systems.

Himoinsa currently provides supplementary and backup diesel power generation to Eureka and Dallaglio’s other mining operations in Zimbabwe.

Himoinsa Southern Africa Director Matthew Bell said “We are pleased to be working with Invictus and expanding our relationship with Dallaglio to potentially provide a cleaner, cost-effective and reliable source of energy to the Eureka Mine through substituting our diesel power generation with natural gas.

“Himoinsa offers a wide range of generation technologies using diesel, HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil), natural gas, LPG and lithium-ion batteries. One of the advantages of already being operational onsite at Eureka with a diesel power plant is that we can develop an alternative gas solution to complement or replace the diesel plant without any interruption to the mine’s power security.

“We look forward to working with Invictus and Dallaglio on this pilot, which can be used as a project reference for other mines in Zimbabwe, Africa and globally.

Gas-fired power will provide Eureka with a reliable and cleaner source of energy than the current coal-fired power and backup diesel power generation, which is used during frequent power outages experienced in the country.

Commenting on the MoU Dallaglio chief executive James Beare said “Power is a critical input for our mining operations in Zimbabwe and securing reliable and affordable energy is crucial to support our plans to expand production at Eureka.

“Substituting coal and diesel-fired power for natural gas supports our goal as a long-term sustainable gold producer and will significantly reduce our emissions profile.

“We look forward to working with Invictus and Himoinsa to realise this mutually beneficial project for the resources sector in the country.”

Dallaglio is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) listed company Padenga Holdings Limited

Dallaglio is one of the largest gold producers in Zimbabwe and owns and operates the Eureka and Pickstone Peerless (in Chegutu) gold mines.

The company purchased the Eureka Mine in April 2018, a brownfield project, which was refurbished and brought back into production in 2021 following significant investment by Dallaglio.

 

Eureka is an open pit mining operation with a current life of mine of eight years. Feasibility studies are underway for potential expansion to underground mining at Eureka, which would extend the life of the mine.

 

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