Capacity increase to serve the high-growth concentrating solar power market.

Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOA), a global leader in performance materials and specialty chemicals, announced that it will expand its diphenyl oxide production capacity at its operation in Chocolate Bayou, Texas. The expansion is intended to help meet the increased demand for diphenyl oxide across a diverse set of end markets, including the high-growth concentrating solar power market.

Diphenyl oxide (DPO) is a key raw material in the production of a variety of industrial products such as surfactants, flame retardants, fragrances, chemical intermediates and heat transfer fluids. DPO is an essential ingredient used to manufacture Therminol® VP-1 heat transfer fluid, the heat transfer fluid of choice for the solar industry.

The expansion is anticipated to increase production capacity by more than 30 percent and is expected to be complete by early 2012.  "This project is a key part of the growth strategy for Specialty Fluids and marks the latest step in our investment plan for this business," said Rich Altice, vice president, business management for Solutia’s Technical Specialties division.

"This expansion will better position Solutia to service the strong demand from the industrial manufacturing and solar markets." Solutia is the world leader in synthetic heat transfer fluids, providing more than 45 years of excellence in technical support, customer service, performance and innovation.