French conglomerate Alstom has secured a €360m contract from GDF SUEZ Energy North America to upgrade and maintain its four natural gas-fired power stations in the US.
The contract covers the Midlothian and Hays plants in Texas and the Bellingham and Blackstone power plants in Massachusetts.
The plants together will use 14 Alstom GT24 gas turbines and generate enough electricity to power more than three million homes in Texas and Massachusetts.
Alstom said it will upgrade the turbines to allow plant operators to switch between operating modes based on electricity market demand without taking the plant offline.
The contract includes providing replacement parts, technical field advisors and gas turbine services for the 14 power-generating units.
The first phase of the upgrade work is expected to start in late 2014.
The first operating mode to be included in the upgrade package will maximise power output during periods of peak demand, while the second will decrease the cost of running and maintaining the gas turbines by increasing the time between service inspections.
Alstom Thermal Services business senior vice-president Hans-Peter Meer said the company has invested in advancing its natural gas power generating technologies to better meet the needs of its customers.
"For GDF SUEZ Energy North America, those investments will translate into bottom-line benefits once the GT24 upgraded fleet is performing to the new standard in operational flexibility," Meer said.
Image: Bellingham power plant in Massachusetts. Photo: courtesy of Alstom.