The Key Factors Considered on Development of Feasibility Study for Coal Gasification to Ammonia & Urea Project (An Abstract)

By Habibie Razak, P.Eng., ASEAN Eng*


Indonesia is the second largest coal exporter in the world after Australia. Coal is abundant spreading over major islands such as Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. Indonesian coal deposit is more than 21 Billion Ton (2011; Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources). Total coal resources is 105,187.44 Tons throughout Indonesia (2011; Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources). It is estimated over 50% of total coal deposit are categorized as low-rank coal.

Most of exported coals are used for steel manufacturing and power plant fuel and these are categorized as high and medium rank coals. The calorific value (CV) is more than 4500 kcal/kg and the water content is less than 30%. As mentioned above, other coal types are low rank coal called lignite. Since this low rank coal is not economical for exports due to the low CV and high water content, this is now emphasized by Indonesian government to be utilized locally. The solution for utilizing this low rank coal is coal gasification.

One of the government programs through Indonesian Fertilizer State-Owned Holding Company is trying to utilize the coal as the raw material to produce Ammonia & Urea. Currently, in Indonesia, price of natural gas from the well is over 10 Dollars/MMBTU and tend to be in short supply in the near future due to the decrease of oil and gas lifting capacity in Indonesia. Now, they start doing several Feasibility Studies on Coal Gasification to Ammonia & Urea.

There are several key factors shall be taken into account as part of Feasibility Study report especially for coal gasification to ammonia and urea project such as the technology selection of gasifier, syngas conversion and gas treating, ammonia & urea. The study shall also include market study of ammonia & urea, plant location, project funding evaluation, preliminary EPC project execution plan, products transportation evaluation and other several factors.

Black & Veatch, an engineering and EPC Contractor, has been performing feasibility assessments for gasification, syngas processing and synthetic fuels production. We help select the best technology for specific feed and product requirements including ammonia and urea product. We also perform economic analysis and project funding evaluation as part of feasibility study. Following technology selection, we provide seamless engineering. We’ve performed studies, assessments and EPC for more than 30 gasification clients. Our experience includes above-ground and underground gasification technologies. In all cases, we listen first. Then we align best-fit technology solutions that match the business need.

Key words: coal gasification, low rank coal, syngas, entrained-flow, feasibility study, engineering, EPC, and gasification technology.

*The author is currently working on one of Feasibility Studies in Indonesia for Coal Gasification to Ammonia & Urea. He is a Project Manager licensed as Professional Engineer by the Institution of Engineers, Indonesia (PII).

**This abstract is being developed to technical paper and will be presented in front of Conference of ASEAN Engineers (CAFEO32) in Yangon, Myanmar, 12th of November 2014.


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