Feasibility Study for Establishment of a Plant for Sodium Cyanide in KSA

Feasibility Study for Establishment of a Plant for Sodium Cyanide in KSA

Literature Review

Establishing a plant for Sodium in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a widely researched and discussed the subject. It inspires interest due to the potential impact that the plant could have on the economy and welfare of the kingdom. Numerous authors have postulated on several aspects of establishing a plant for sodium cyanide in KSA hence the following is a literature review of some of the hypotheses.

The first aspect which has been researched about is the study of chemical product manufacturing need. Concerning this necessity, Brüger, Fafilek, & Rojas-Mendoza, (2018) assert that it is necessary for KSA to consider producing Sodium Cyanide in large scales due to the kingdom’s involvement in the mining industry. The authors note that KSA has the main raw material that is used to produce Sodium Cyanide in large quantities. Traditionally, compound is prepared through the Castner-Kellner process, which encompasses reacting sodium amide with carbon at high temperatures. Hence, for a country with adequate raw materials, it is prudent to exploit such raw materials and hence come up with the plant.

The economic function of the endeavor in question is critical. Thus, Boulamanti & Moya (2017) look into the economic need that justifies establishing a plant for Sodium Cyanide in KSA and the costs that would be incurred to put up the plant. In this case, they note that worldwide production of Sodium Cyanide was estimated at 600,000 tons in 2017. This is a low amount considering the actual demand for Sodium Cyanide, especially in the cyanide and Sodium gold cyanide mining. As such, the authors assert that there is an untapped market for Sodium Cyanide which KSA could exploit if it established a plant that could produce high-quality Sodium Cyanide.

Kamshad et al. (2017) explore the need for KSA to diversify its portfolio concerning its economic activities by looking at other avenues other than oil production that can be used in bringing foreign exchange revenue into the country. One such area to consider is chemical manufacturing, which can utilize the raw materials that are readily available in the country. Kamshad et al. (2017) demonstrate that existing chemical production and exports comprise of a substantial 65% of non-oil exports in KSA. As such, increasing this area of production can offer the country additional foreign income and hence contribute positively to its economy. One major way of doing that is to consider setting up a Sodium Cyanide in the kingdom since it would utilize readily available raw materials, which are a byproduct of petroleum mining. Additionally, its returns would be excellent.

Gassem, (2017) effectively compares local chemical and global chemical production. He asserts that in as much as the world has become quite industrialized, few countries can boast of a comprehensive chemical production despite the fact that chemicals are widely used raw materials in the production of different products or the mining industry. Further, Jawad, Ledwith & Panahifar (2018) researched the chemical production in Saudi Arabia and noted that chemical production in the state is still at a young phase albeit the fact that it is growing at a healthy rate. Particularly, the author shows that local companies, such as Saudi Aramco, have become growing global competitors in chemical production and are even able to compete with international chemical producing companies. Additionally, Gassem, (2017) shows how the petrochemical industry is vital to the KSA’s non-oil economy by demonstrating that chemical and plastic exports from KSA amounted to $30 billion (SR115 billion) in 2015. As such, it can be ascertained that despite the fact that chemical production in KSA is in its infancy, it possesses a potential which cannot be ignored.

Miandad et al. (2017) consider the value that could be gained from setting a Sodium Cyanide plant in KSA as well as the cost that could be incurred. They take into consideration that the traditional production of Sodium Cyanide only requires two major raw materials, which are sodium amide and carbon (Nizami et al., 2017). They assert that the two raw materials are readily available in KSA. Additionally, with the sophistication of current manufacturing technology in Saudi Arabia, the country would not need to construct an enormous plant for the production of Sodium Cyanide. Hence, when taking into consideration the number of funds that could be used in setting up the plant versus the returns that could be gained from it, setting up the plant would be a worthy endeavor (Demirbas et al., 2017).

Lastly, Abdel-Latif, Osman & Ahmed (2017) look into the unemployment rate in KSA. As KSA’s economy grapples with the fallout of low oil prices, the country’s unemployment rate has been rising steadily: was at 12.7% as at 2017. Alkhateeb et al., 2017 assert that this trend is expected to rise if the country does not come up with other employment-generating activities and look into the possibility of expanding the petrochemical industry. Doing such would encompass taking initiatives, including setting up a Sodium Cyanide in KSA, which would help address the unemployment menace which can negatively affect the kingdom if not handled promptly.




Abdel-Latif, H., Osman, R., & Ahmed, H. (2017). Asymmetric impacts of oil price shocks on government expenditures: Evidence from Saudi Arabia. SSRN. Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3093721

Alkhateeb, T. T. Y., Mahmood, H., Sultan, Z. A., & Ahmad, N. (2017). Oil price and Employment Nexus in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, 7(3), 277-281.

Boulamanti, A., & Moya, J. A. (2017). Production costs of the Chemical Industry in the EU and other Countries: Ammonia, Methanol and Light Olefins. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 68, 1205-1212.

Brüger, A., Fafilek, G., & Rojas-Mendoza, L. (2018). On the Volatilisation And Decomposition Of Cyanide Contaminations From Gold Mining. Science of The Total Environment, 627, 1167-1173.

Demirbas, A., Kabli, M., Alamoudi, R. H., Ahmad, W., & Basahel, A. (2017). Renewable energy resource facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Prospects, social and political challenges. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 12(1), 8-16.

Gassem, M. A. (2017). Microbiological and Chemical Quality of A Traditional Salted-Fermented Fish (Hout-Kasef) Product of Jazan Region, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319562X17301171

Jawad, S., Ledwith, A., & Panahifar, F. (2018). Enablers and Barriers to the Successful Implementation of Project Control Systems in the Petroleum and Chemical Industry. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 10, 1847979017751834. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1847979017751834

Kamshad, T., Siriki, R. S., Al-Ghamdi, A., & Kellow, D. (2017, April). Challenges of Implementing Chemical Treatment Preservation Programs on Oil Production Wells during a Prolonged Shutdown within Partitioned Zone (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and State of Kuwait. One Petro. https://www.onepetro.org/conference-paper/NACE-2017-8966

Miandad, R., Rehan, M., Ouda, O. K. M., Khan, M. Z., Shahzad, K., Ismail, I. M. I., & Nizami, A. S. (2017). Waste-to-Hydrogen Energy In Saudi Arabia: Challenges and Perspectives in Biohydrogen Production: Sustainability of Current Technology and Future Perspective (pp. 237-252). New Delhi: Springer. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-81-322-3577-4_11

Nizami, A. S., Shahzad, K., Rehan, M., Ouda, O. K. M., Khan, M. Z., Ismail, I. M. I., … & Demirbas, A. (2017). Developing waste biorefinery in Makkah: a Way Forward to Convert Urban Waste into Renewable Energy. Applied Energy, 186, 189-196. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030626191630616X