GDF Suez, Alstom to upgrade U.S. natural gas power plants

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GDF Suez Energy North America has awarded Alstom a long-term service contract to give its power plant fleet new flexibility.

Under the terms of this $480 million contract signed on June 28, Alstom will provide comprehensive maintenance services and gas turbine upgrade packages for four GDF Suez natural gas-fired power stations. The plants together use fourteen Alstom GT24 gas turbines and generate enough electricity to power more than three million homes in Texas and Massachusetts.

Alstom’s responsibilities for the Midlothian and Hays plants in Texas, and Bellingham and Blackstone power plants in Massachusetts include management and provision of replacement parts, technical field advisors and gas turbine services for their fourteen power generating units over the life of the contract. The first upgrade installation is scheduled for the fall of 2014.

Alstom will upgrade the turbines with features enabling plant operators to switch between operating modes based on electricity market demand without taking the plant offline. The first operating mode included in this upgrade package maximizes power output during periods of peak demand while the second lowers the cost of running and maintaining the gas turbines by increasing the time between service inspections. This boost in operational flexibility is particularly important in the highly-competitive Texas electricity market where plants are often called on to rapidly increase and decrease power output.

The four power stations included in this agreement constitute the largest fleet of Alstom GT24 gas turbines owned by a single customer, and the company has provided service support for the plants since they entered commercial service.

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