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PT Badak NGL Blackout Start System

Nasrul Syahruddin
Lead Engineer, Rotating & Stationary Equipment

Rizqy Fajar Arifianto

Engineer, Electrical

Facilities Engineering – Technical Department

PT Badak NGL
Bontang – East Kalimantan

PT Badak NGL (PTB) operates 12x12.5MW steam turbine generators, 1x12.5MW gas turbine
generator and 1x5MW diesel generator for supplying electricity to LNG, LPG plant, and community
housing. The machine bus is 13.8kV while power is distributed through 4.16kV and 480V
switchgear/MCC. PTB also utilize 34.5kV ring bus as synchronizing bus. Most of PTB distribution
network using secondary selective system.
Figure-1 shows the simplified overall one line diagram of PTB electrical system. This covers
for all 8 LNG trains including the utilities, storage & loading and community.

Figure 1: Simplified One Line Diagram 34.4/13.8 kV Distribution System

The electrical system shall always be reliable in order to secure power distribution to units
related to LNG/LPG production process such as cooling water pumps, instrument and utility air
system, etc. Furthermore, the electrical distribution system is considered high reliable by applying
secondary selective and integrated ring bus system. However, in case of power failure, the system
shall be able to restore its power without relying on external energy resources, which is called
Blackout Start System.
Blackout Condition
Blackout is a condition when there is no electricity supply for supporting plant operations and
community due to electric power failure. The power failure can be caused by either process or
electrical distribution aspect. Since the main power supply comes from steam turbine generator, the
reliability of steam supply system is very essential.
From process point of view, the lack of boiler feed water, lost of instrument air supply and
lack of fuel gas supply to boilers will cause boilers to trip and stop steam supply to Steam Turbine
Generators (STGs). This condition leads to total power failure or blackout condition. Whereas from
electrical point of view, the total blackout condition can be resulted as the failure on generators or the
electrical distribution and/or protection system itself. The second cause is more likely to be happened
than the first one.

Blackout Start System

In order to restore the power supply after blackout condition, PT Badak NGL utilizes a Diesel
Engine Generator (DEG) or Gas Turbine Generator (GTG) as blackout start up engine. The
philosophy of blackout start up system is firstly to secure the overall plant as the impact of blackout
condition, then starting up the utility system to produce steam as well as instrument air and finally
starting up Process Train and its supporting facilities.

Figure 2: Blackout Start Up Sequence

Figure 2. shows the sequence on conducting blackout start up. When total blackout condition
occurs, there is no electricity supply available. The initial power is generated from DEG. The diesel
generator supplies electricity to motor driven equipment such as boiler feed water pump, utility water
pump, condensate transfer pump and forced draft fan.
In this step, the available ground water in demin tanks is sent to deaerator for treatment prior
to transfer as feed water to boilers. In parallel, diesel fire water pump and diesel air compressor are
utilized to produce cooling water and instrument air to the system respectively. By utilizing the
available feed gas as boiler’s fuel and running forced draft fan, the boilers is now ready to produce
steam to be used to drive the steam turbine generator as the initial power supply to the blackout LNG
The time needed for each step will vary depends on the equipment condition such as
temperature. In general, step 1 until step 8 could be done within 1 hour. Step 9 and 10 will vary
depend on the equipment temperature. For Boiler, the maximum temperature increasing rate is limited
by its design rule of 50o C per hour. Therefore, to reach operating temperature of 450o C it would take
about 9 hours from ambient temperature.
However, in hot condition just after the blackout condition, the temperature range is between
300 – 350o C and boiler could be ready within 2 hours. The STG would take about 2 hours for
warming up in hot condition or 6 hours up in cold condition prior to start up. So the total time needed
for blackout start up would vary between 4 to 15 hours.

Power Requirement
In black start up system, DEG should be able to supply power to several equipments as

No System Equipment Reference Driver Function

33GE-3C/D, 33GE-
5A/B/C/D, and 33GE- Supply cooling
1 Cooling Water Diesel Engine water
16A/B/C/D (Diesel Fire Sea
Water Pump)

Compressed Electric Motor Supply instrument

2 35KM-3/4/5/6 air
Air (0.67MW)

31GM-115A/B (Condensate Electric Motor Supply BFW to

Water Pump) (0.04MW) Deaerator

31C-20 (Deaerator) - Treat BFW

Boiler Feed
Water and
3 31K-
Boiler Feed Electric Motor Supply air to Boiler
Air (0.8MW)
(Forced Draft Fan)

31GM-111/113/140/141 Electric Motor Supply BFW from

(BFW Pump) (1.49MW) Deaerator to Boiler

31F-21~30 (Boiler) - Generate steam

Boiler & Steam
4 Turbine Power 31PG-11/12/14 Generate electrical
Generator (Condensing Turbine Power Steam Turbine power by using
Generator) steam as driver

Table 1: Load List for Blackout Start Up

Based on software simulation, the minimum power required to conduct blackout start up is
about 3.3 MW as seen in Figure 3. However, to compensate the drop voltage is still within PTB
standard (maximum drop voltage is 20%), the minimum power required will be 4 MW (Figure 4, drop
voltage is about 16.5%). Then by adding 25% safety factor, the minimum power generator for
blackout start up is 5 MW.
Figure 3. Power Required for Blackout Start Up

Figure 4. Drop Voltage Using 4MW Generator

In order to maintain the high reliability of PT Badak NGL Plant, blackout startup system is
designed to restore the plant electricity supply as fast as possible in case of blackout condition. The
system requires minimum 5 MW of power to initially operate the electric motor driven equipment in
Boiler system for steam production to generate more power from steam turbine power generator for
restarting the LNG production as well as supplying electricity to community.


1. Process Engineering Section Study, Blackout Start Up System Improvement, November 2009,
PT Badak NGL
2. PT Badak General Specification, Electrical Design Guidelines, November 2001.
3. PT Badak General Specification, Electric Generators, November 2001.