SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) _ Carrier Corp. announced Thursday it will spend $39 million on a plant renovation that will preserve 600 existing jobs and create 115 new ones by the end of 1995.

Carrier, the world's largest manufacturer of heating and air conditioning systems, will retool its Carlyle Compressor plant to produce twin-screw compressors for industrial-sized air conditioners.

Twin-screw compressors are smaller, lighter, quieter and more efficient than the reciprocating compressors Carrier is currently manufacturing at the plant, Carlyle President Thomas Kassouf said.

The plant will produce smaller compressors for commercial refrigeration, such as supermarket freezers, and larger devices for air conditioning used in large buildings.

Making the twin screw compressor will require advanced machining, gauging and assembly technologies with tolerances measured in microns - a millionth of a meter, or about 1/1000th of the thickness of a human hair.

''We are very excited about the opportunity to transform this facility into a blueprint for future manufacturing,'' said Kassouf.

Carrier will spend $33 million on the project. New York state will provide a $1.5 million grant for the plant, which is being designated as a Center for Manufacturing Excellence open to study by other companies.

Gov. Mario Cuomo visited Carrier Thursday to announce the state's role in the project.

The state also is providing $2.9 million in low-cost loans and grants to help cover the cost of machinery and equipment. Onondaga County and the federal government are contributing $1 million to the project.

Carrier had considered locating the new compressor plant in Arkadelphia, Ark., where the costs of building a new facility would have been lower than renovating the 40-year-old New York state plant.

But the promise of government assistance persuaded Carrier to keep its Carlyle plant open.

Carrier, a division of United Technologies Corp., employs 4,200 people in Syracuse and 27,000 worldwide.