Suitors court Shumba’s coal

Back in favour: Drilling samples from Shumba Energy's Mabesekwa project PIC: SHUMBA ENERGY
Back in favour: Drilling samples from Shumba Energy's Mabesekwa project PIC: SHUMBA ENERGY

Local energy developer, Shumba Energy, says it has received direct approaches from external investors interested in its extensive coal resources, as the mineral regains favour due to the global energy crunch.

While Shumba’s leases are estimated to hold about 4.5 billion tonnes of coal, the company in recent years has shifted its priorities to developing renewable energy initiatives, including a 100MW solar plant near Tati. This week, Shumba directors said there had been “a clear reverse in global sentiment with regard to the requirement for and development of hydrocarbon assets for base load power generation within the growing energy crisis”. The statement refers to the energy crisis that has developed in Europe and parts of Asia as part of the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The crisis has seen demand for coal peak, with rising prices, as countries that had previously shunned the mineral are forced back to it due to disruptions in alternative supply. “This has justified our belief and the decision taken by the board some five years ago that we should maintain our strong hydrocarbon asset portfolio and make it development ready for the inevitable change that would come,” directors said in an investor update earlier today. The directors said the company was currently engaging with external investors initiated by the energy crisis challenges being faced both within the SADC region and internationally, and was hopeful of delivering positive news in due course.

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