By Washington Business Journal

Rockville-based energy-plant designer and builder Argan Inc. said its Gemma Power Systems subsidiary has been awarded a contract from the East Texas Electric Cooperative to build a biomass-fired power plant near Woodville, Texas.

The plant still needs regulatory approval. The contract, once approved by the Rural Utilities Service, is worth $165 million.

Gemma Power Systems can begin planning and engineering activities, and it expects full approval of the contract by next spring. The project is scheduled for completion by December 2014.

The Gemma Power Systems division is headquartered in Hartford, Conn. Argan (NYSE AMEX: AGX) also owns Southern Maryland Cable Inc. and nutritional supplement maker Vitarich Laboratories Inc.

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