French engineering group Alstom is to cut 4,000 jobs from its power division in the next 18 months, because of the impact of the economic crisis on the coal and gas plant equipment markets.

The Alstom Power sites in Switzerland, Germany and the United States would be worst hit, with sites in Britain, France, Hungary, and Norway also affected, Alstom said on Monday.

The cuts would be implemented in Europe and North America where the new equipment markets for coal and gas power plants are most affected by the economic crisis, Alstom said.

The company said its services and renewable energies businesses in the power sector, including Alstom Hydro and Alstom Wind, would not be affected.

Alstom said in July sales had started to decline in its Power division, falling 6 percent in the fiscal first quarter year-on-year.

The French group cited a lack of large projects as customers delayed investments in new power plants. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Dan Lalor)