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Ondo to Begin Bitumen Exploitation

Ondo State Govern­ment has recorded a major breakthrough in its quest for economic stabil­ity as arrangements have begun for the exploitation of bitumen, being one of the mineral resources the state has in commercial quantity.

Briefing newsmen on the development in Akure yesterday, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said govern­ment had secured the license to exploit the commodity through Beecon Nigeria Limited, a con­cern where the govern­ment has near complete ownership.

He said government had before now signed a Memorandum of Un­derstanding (MoU) with an American company, Liquefied Resources and was also expected to sign a Joint Operating Agreement with the same outfit for the immediate exploi­tation of bitumen which the state has in large de­posit on locations that stretches across Ondo-Edo and Ondo-Ogun boundaries.

The commissioner in­formed that officials of Liquefied Resources, led by its President, Thomas Cooley are already in the country and are expected to meet with the govern­ment tomorrow to finalise all arrangements regard­ing the joint agreement.

bitumenThe officials would visit the proposed sites and also set a date for takeoff of the proposed bitumen extraction and upgrading plant.

As part of the agree­ment, Liquefied Resourc­es is expected to wholly fund the project, even as the commissioner in­sists that there will be exploitation of bitumen in the state at no cost to the government, adding that the Joint Operating Agreement will regulate profit sharing among the handling company and the government.

The government’s spokesperson described the operation as very expensive and more de­manding than exploiting oil, he, however, said Liq­uefied Resources was ca­pable of handling it, espe­cially with the availability of new technology at its disposal to handle such project.

Speaking on the pro­jected impact of the de­velopment on the state, Akinmade said the exploitation of the commod­ity will generate massive employment which he said will be a consolida­tion on the jobs being pro­vided for the youths in the state through agriculture.

Emphasising the capa­bility of government to solve youth unemploy­ment through the project as well as its ongoing job creation initiatives through agriculture, Akinmade said the bitu­men comes up with ac­companying crude oil, which will in no small measure affect the econo­my of the state positively.



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