UPDATE 2-GE signs $2.7 bln power generation contracts with Algeria
* Three contracts to add 9 GW to Algeria's power generation capacity
* GE says largest contract to boost Algeria's generation capacity by 70 pct
* GE to also set up 2 GW power equipment factory in Algeria
* Shares up about 1 pct premarket
Sept 23 (Reuters) - General Electric Co signed three contracts to sell about $2.7 billion in power equipment to Algeria, as the North African country seeks to massively increase its generation capacity.
The largest contract, for six combined-cycle power plants worth $1.9 billion, will add 8 gigawatts (GW) to Algeria's generating capacity, an increase of 70 percent, GE said.
Energy demand in Algeria is estimated to be growing at an average annual rate of about 14 percent, rising from about 12 GW to 20 GW by 2017, GE said in a statement.
The other two contracts comprise two fast-track projects that add 528 MW of capacity for this summer's peak demand, and a new simple-cycle power plant to add 370 MW to Algeria's electricity grid, the company said.
The biggest contract is with Societe Algerienne de Production de l'Electricite, a unit of Algeria's national electricity and gas company, Sonelgaz Group.
GE said it also planned a joint venture with Sonelgaz to build a factory in Algeria to produce more than 2 GW of power generation equipment a year, creating nearly 400 jobs.
GE shares, which have gained 14 percent this year to Friday's close, were up about 1 percent in premarket trading on Monday. The stock closed at $24.01 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company's shares are poised to outperform the stock market after lagging for more than a decade, as GE's business outgrows the economies where it operates, financial newspaper Barron's said in its Sept. 23 edition.
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