HARARE, Discovery Investments, one of three firms granted a coal-bed methane concession by the Zimbabwe government in Lupane in Matabeleland North Province, says it requires about 700 million US dollars to start commercial gas production.
The company, whose concession is in the Siwale area in Mzola, Lupane, has completed exploration and has obtained an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate, says Managing Director Thabani Hove, who adds that the project has reached production stage, but extraction can only start after securing funding.
"Our Lupane gas project is now at a stage to start production. We are very grateful to the new government that has now created an enabling environment for us to now aggressively start looking for investors," he said Tuesday. "We are looking for about 700 million USD (to commence production)."
Hove said from initial projections, the gas could be exploited over a period of 50 years. In an era in which gas is now a key commodity in the country, Zimbabwe could benefit immensely from the exploitation of the resource.
The appetite for gas consumption is growing in the country with the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority saying the country has recorded a significant rise in household consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in recent years.
Through exploitation of coal-bed methane gas, analysts contend that Zimbabwe could turn from a net importer of fertilizer to a net exporter, which would help preserve hard currency.
Coal-bed methane gas is used to produce hydrogen, which in turn is used in the manufacture of fertilizer.
Fertilizer manufacturer Sable Chemicals has also hinted at plans to transform its current electricity-based production process to one fueled by gas.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK