September 23, 2013 / 10:44 AM / 6 years ago

GE signs $2.7 billion power generation contracts with Algeria

A GE logo is seen in a store in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010. GE will release its third quarter earnings on Friday. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) 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 September 23 edition.

Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Louise Heavens and Kirti Pandey

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