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France's Alstom to build 25MW geothermal power plant in Mexico

French power firm signs EUR 30m contract to construct Los Humeros III plant in one of world’s biggest geothermal markets

A geothermal power plant
Mexico has the fourth biggest geothermal power reserve in the world

French energy firm Alstom has announced it will construct a 25MW geothermal power plant in Mexico. Alstom has signed the EUR 30m deal with the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to build the geothermal power plant Los Humeros III – Phase A, located in Chignautla, Puebla state.

The geothermal power plant will have an installed capacity of 25MW and will produce an average of more than 200GWh per year of renewable energy. This is equivalent to the annual energy used by 40,000 people in Mexico.

Cintia Angulo, Alstom Mexico Country president, said: "Over the last decade, Alstom has participated in numerous geothermal power projects in Mexico, that all combined add up to nearly 200MW of installed capacity. We are happy that Alstom's technology will contribute to the diversification of non-fossil energy sources in the country, a goal that the current government has set to reach 35 per cent by 2024."

This Alstom turnkey geothermal project includes all of the engineering, as well as the power plant construction, set-up equipment, steam turbine, turbo generator, systems control and high voltage electric substation, and related equipment.

The geothermal power plant is expected to start operations during the second quarter of 2016, and will operate using heat obtained by drilling steam extraction wells at a depth of up to 3,500m (11,500ft.).

Geothermal power in emerging markets
Mexico has the fourth biggest geothermal power reserve in the world, just behind the US, the Philippines and Indonesia. The Los Humeros III Phase A power plant will operate in tandem with two other geothermal power plants recently installed by Alstom in the same area (Los Humeros IIA, and Los Humeros IIB). Combined with the new power facility, those three geothermal projects will have an installed capacity of 75MW, meeting the annual power needs of 120,000 local inhabitants.

The news from Alstom is the latest example of geothermal power building up in emerging markets. In October US firm Ormat Technologies signed a contract to develop a 60MW geothermal power project in Indonesia.