French conglomerate Alstom said Thursday it signed a 30-million-euro ($41-billion) contract with Mexican state-run electricity utility CFE to build a geothermal plant in the central state of Puebla.

The "Los Humeros III - Phase A" plant, which is expected to begin operating in the second quarter of 2016, will have an installed capacity of 25 MW and produce an average of more than 200 GWh per year of renewable energy, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 40,000 people, Alstom said in a press release.

The Alstom-designed project includes the construction, set-up and operation of the plant, which will use heat obtained by drilling steam-extraction wells at a depth of up to 3,500 meters (11,475 feet).

The facility will operate in tandem with two other Alstom-installed geothermal power plants located in the same area, the company said.

"Over the last decade, Alstom has participated in numerous geothermal power projects in Mexico, that all combined add up to nearly 200 MW 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 percent by 2024." Cintia Angulo, Alstom Mexico's president, was quoted as saying.

A total of 350 geothermal energy projects have been carried out in 24 countries, amounting to worldwide installed capacity of 10.7 GW, according to Alstom, which describes itself as a "pioneer" in that field.

The company said Mexico has the fourth-biggest geothermal power reserves in the world, behind the United States, the Philippines and Indonesia. EFE