A new 50 MW solar thermal power plant in Lebrija, Spain, scheduled to start up in the spring of 2010, will use Therminol synthetic heat transfer fluid from St. Louis-based Solutia Inc.

Iberese, a Spanish company dedicated to building and managing plants powered by cogeneration and renewable energy, selected Therminol VP-1 due to its ability to meet demanding requirements of high temperature systems and Therminol's more than 20 years of experience in solar projects. The plant, located south of Seville, is part of a plan backed by Spain's government to have 10 solar plants of 50 MW each operating by 2010.

"Therminol's agreement with Iberese is in line with our strategy to provide innovative, high-quality products to our global partners in the fast growing solar market," said Richard Altice, vice president of commercial services, Technical Specialties. Therminol last announced a large global supply agreement in August 2008 with Flagsol GmbH (a subsidiary of Solar Millennium AG) for a 150 MW hybrid power plant using both natural gas and solar power in Kuraymat, Egypt.

"European nations -- particularly Spain -- have expressed a strong commitment to promoting and achieving record-breaking growth in the solar market," says Miguel Villagomez, global Therminol commercial team lead for solar projects.

Therminol heat transfer fluid is used in the trough-shaped mirror assemblies to absorb concentrated sunlight and heat up to about 750°F (~400°C). The heated Therminol is used to generate steam, which drives the power generating turbines.