Three benefits gas discovery will Bring to Zimbabwe

Three benefits gas discovery will Bring to Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe has one of the largest underexplored interior rift basins in Africa and is strategically located in close proximity to resource-rich acreage in neighbouring Mozambique.

Given this potential, the country is making great strides to unlock the full potential of its resources, with an exploration campaign led by independent oil and gas company Invictus Energy already showing promising results.

The company recovered four hydrocarbon samples at the onshore Cabora Bassa project in December 2023, effectively opening up the basin. With a rig contract extended for an additional two years, Zimbabwe is on the precipice of making a commercial gas discovery – presenting newfound opportunities for the country.

Enhancing Energy Security

The introduction of gas to the domestic market will significantly improve energy security in Zimbabwe. Currently, 53% of the population has access to electricity (2023), with power predominantly imported from neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and South Africa.

This has made the country highly susceptible to price fluctuations, unstable supply and debt challenges. However, through gas, Zimbabwe will be able to mitigate these challenges, establishing a domestic supply of both fuel and electricity.

Invictus Energy has already signed a gas supply deal with Zimbabwe’s Mbuyu Energy, with a 500 MW gas-to-power plant on the cards. With the potential to increase capacity to 1,000 MW, this agreement aligns with the government’s objectives to improve domestic power generation through gas.

Driving Economic Growth

Natural gas can serve as a catalyst for economic growth in Zimbabwe. A commercial discovery and the development of resources will not only advance energy access but increase export earnings.

Zimbabwe presently relies on gold ($3.5 billion), nickel ($1.2 billion) and tobacco ($863 million) exports for the majority of its earnings, and gas offers the opportunity to both diversify and strengthen generated revenue.

Additionally, discoveries made onshore could be plugged into local industrialization, thereby bolstering infrastructure development and job creation. Gas revenue has the potential to drive downstream development while strengthening associated industries such as construction, manufacturing and transport.

Advancing the Energy Transition

As a relatively clean energy source, natural gas enables Zimbabwe to advance a transition to a more sustainable energy system. Currently, the country relies on coal for approximately 36% of its power generation, and the government is looking at reducing this reliance through alternative energy sources.

Natural gas will not only enable the country to shift towards clean energy but support the transition of neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Botswana – both of which also rely on hydrocarbon-fired power generation for a portion of their generating mix.