The yet to be exploited Ondo State Bitumen by the federal government has successfully been refined to Cold Mix Asphalt (CMA) by an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Consultant on Bitumen and Heavy Crude Oil, Dr. Bayonile Ademodi. The Asphalt is now being used to fill potholes in Ondo West local government area of the State.
Federal government for several years has been importing this bitumen from foreign countries to repair and construct roads, despite that the nation is naturally blessed with the resources.
Ademodi, an indigene of Ondo kingdom, while speaking with reporters shortly after he had demonstrated on how to convert the indigenous bitumen to CMA said he had been using the resources in filling pot holes in the community for the past one month.
He added that motorists and motorcyclists have been enjoying the rides in some of the streets where it has been used in filling potholes.
Besides, Ademodi, who is a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State has recommended that a Ministry of Bitumen and Heavy Oil Resources be established, saying such ministry would focus on the meaningful exploitation of the resources for domestic and export markets free of OPEC regulations.
He lamented why the federal government has refused to utilised the resources, linking such to the Nigerian factors, which he said include unnecessary politization of issues, ethnic consideration and the fact that it is not very easy to make easy money from the exploitation.
He listed some of the benefits of the resources as road repair/road construction, fuel for power plants, creation of employment for the teeming youth among others.
According to him, “Nigeria should take the advantage of the fact that its heavy/extra heavy oil does not fall under the OPEC quota. Venezuela developed the world famous ORIMULSION fuel which has been used for years domestically and exported to energy hungry countries like China, India and Japan as fuel for generating electricity (in thermal power plants), land based diesel engines.
“Nigeria’s heavy/extra heavy oil is equally amenable for use as power plant fuel and considerable progress has been made in research in this regard. Nigeria’s heavy oil has been used to successfully raise steam in a mini-steam boiler, a precursor stage to electricity generation.
“The resource is a potential substitute for natural gas, LPFO and coal are processed fuel in industries and thermal power plants. Our work has shown that it can conveniently replace substantial quantities of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) otherwise known as black oil, the cost of which has skyrocketed astronomically and which, in turn, is responsible for the high cost of goods ranging from cement to sundry consumer products in Nigeria.
“Similarly, Nigeria’s bitumen exists in the two forms of solid tar sands and liquid deposits. Considerable success has been achieved in the utilisation of these two types of bitumen for the manufacture of road asphalt. In this regard, there are two possibilities: Hot Mix Asphalt and Cold Mix Asphalt”
The University Don said he would continue to mount pressure on the federal government on why the resources must be fully utilised.
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