Eleven private firms have shown interest to partner with the Ondo State Bitumen Exploration and Exploitation Company (BEECON) through the State Development and Investment Agency, ONDIPA to commence the exploitation and exploration of the abundant bitumen reserves in the state.
Ondo state is reputed to have the second largest bitumen deposit in the world and the largest in Africa with over 42billion reserves of the highest quality.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu , SAN , had made relentless efforts to attract the attention of world class firms to the natural endownment in the state . Arakunrin Akeredolu had last year hosted diplomatic communities to a dinner in Abuja to showcase the various investment opportunities in Ondo state to the outside world . High commissions and embassies that were present at the dinner included Britain, China, Australia, India, Japan, Korea, Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa.
Multi-lateral agencies like the World Bank, United Nations International Children's Education Fund (UNICEF), Africa Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), US Public Health Service (USPHS), African Development Bank (AfDB), were also there.
Consequent upon this, eleven private firms were in Akure, the state capital on Thursday 17th May, 2018 to showcase their technical and financial capabilities. The event was tagged "BEECON Partnership Engagement ".
In his welcome address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Development and Investment, who doubles as Director of Business Development and Investment Management at ONDIPA, Mr. Femi Akarakiri said bitumen exploration will provide not less than 30,000 direct jobs in the state.
According to him, bitumen was discovered in the state in year 1904 but nothing has been done on it due to the expensive cost of exploration which the government cannot invest on alone, hence the need to invite investors to partner the state.
He explained that the BEECON Partnership Engagement programme is aimed at fashioning out modalities to mine bitumen product and to make the process transparent.
"The purpose of this programme is to bring partners to Ondo state to partner with BEECON, we want to allow private organizations invest on bitumen exploration, we have the licences and we are calling on private sectors to partner with us, to bring their finances and expertises to explore the product.
Some of the investors present at the event for presentations included, Energy&Mineral Resources Limited, BML energy, CRCC construction group, Globaloilsands, Liquefied Resources (LR) USA LTD.
Others are Zenilum Company LTD, CCC Snirand Technologies LTD, and Drichels Technologies.