This article presents a novel, systematic, and robust procedure for driver and power plant selection based on mathematical programming. The discrete nature of gas turbines is considered as gas turbine drivers and gas turbine-based power plants are selected from a group of candidates. Plant availability with considering parallel compression has also been included, which allows a more comprehensive exploitation of the trade-offs between capital costs, operating costs, and availability. When neglecting process heating and any steam equipment, the formulation can be applied to heavily power dominated processes, such as LNG. However, a more comprehensive formulation, allowing waste heat recovery and the integration with a multilevel steam system, is also proposed to produce more thermally efficient systems. This approach proved to be flexible and robust and is the first in producing solutions ranging from no-steam to all-steam systems, including all-gas turbine, all-motor and hybrid gas turbine/motor/steam systems. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).