March 3, 2011- Charleroi, Pennsylvania – Supporting America’s transition to an era of smarter, more reliable, and more stable energy grids, senior executives of Alstom Grid today celebrated the opening of a new disconnect switch manufacturing facility in Charleroi, Pennsylvania that will strengthen the company’s ability to deliver switches tailored to the needs of U.S. customers. Spanning 25,000 square feet, the state-of-the art facility complements Alstom Grid’s already strong U.S. presence and benefits from a highly-skilled local talent pool with decades of experience in high-voltage equipment.

The grand opening of the new facility was marked by a ribbon cutting, and a full program of activities made possible through Alstom’s strong working partnerships with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, General Industries, which constructed and leases the plant, and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. Tours of the new production line allowed guests to see how local Alstom workers will use cutting-edge manufacturing processes to deliver disconnect switches customized to U.S. standards and construction requirements. The Charleroi plant is equipped to deliver vertical break, center break, double side break and semi-pantograph switches up to 800 kV.

Reflecting on the day’s events, President of Alstom Grid Henri Poupart-Lafarge said, “This is a very exciting day for Alstom Grid. As a company, we strive to continually enhance our ability to meet the evolving needs of our customers. With this new facility, we can now deliver locally-manufactured disconnect switches to U.S. customers faster, and with stronger domestic support. Alstom Grid is proud to extend our presence in Charleroi, which is already home to our global competency center for the manufacture of dead tank circuit breakers. We are eager to share this new capability with the U.S., and we are committed to creating high-quality job opportunities in this community.”

While the Charleroi facility is focused on engineering and support for the U.S. market, the plant joins Alstom Grid’s disconnect switch and research ‘Centers of Excellence,’ in Canada and Italy, which offer global back-up capacity and the sharing of expertise and insights from Alstom’s global network.

Alstom Grid, which has more than 100 years of experience in electrical transmission technology, is the world leader disconnect switches. These vital power distribution components used to completely de-energize electrical circuits for inspection or maintenance, or to redirect the flow of electricity throughout the grid. Over the past 40 years, no Alstom disconnect switch has experienced a casting failure and the company’s switches are the only ones to have successfully passed the 2.5 inch ice test, making them a superior choice for operation in harsh conditions.

About Alstom
Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world. It provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 96,500 people in more than 70 countries, and had sales of over € 23 billion* in 2009/10. (*Pro forma figures)

Alstom Grid, the newest sector of Alstom, has over 100 years of expertise in electrical grids. Whether for utilities or electro-intensive industries or facilitating the trading of energy, Alstom Grid brings power to their customers’ projects. Alstom Grid ranks among the top 3 in electrical transmission sector with a sales turnover of approximately € 3.5 billion in 2009. It has 20,000 employees and over 90 manufacturing and engineering sites worldwide. Its four main business areas are Products, Systems, Automation and Service. At the heart of the development of Smart Grid, Alstom Grid offers products, services and integrated energy management solutions across the full energy value chain—from power generation, through transmission and distribution grids and to the large end user.

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, markets the benefits of conducting business in south-western Pennsylvania to companies all over the world that are growing, relocating or expanding. Learn more at

General Industries
General Industries (GI) constructed and owns the new 25,000 S.F., customized manufacturing plant, which will be leased to ALSTOM Grid Inc. GI is a commercial construction and real estate company based in Charleroi, PA. A family business, spanning three generations, GI designs, builds and manages commercial real estate. GI is an authorized contractor of Varco-Pruden (VP) Buildings, providing costeffective, pre-engineered steel building systems. Since 1973, GI has built over 400 world-class commercial buildings, representing over 9 million square feet. For more information, please visit or call 724.483.1600.

Washington County Chamber of Commerce
Representing over 900 businesses that employ nearly 22,000 people, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce has grown into the largest business association in Washington County and the fourth largest chamber of commerce in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Chamber members have access to innovative programs and offerings that provide opportunities that insure their continued business growth and expansion. Learn more at

Press Contacts
Tim Brown, Alstom (North America) – 1 860 713 -9530
Gayle Wooster, Alstom Grid (North America) – +1 425 466 6399
Emmanuelle Helleux (Alstom Grid Worldwide) –+33 1 49 01 70 87