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Cargill acquires FR3 dielectric fluid business from Cooper Industries

Cargill and Cooper Power Systems, Inc. announced that Cargill has purchased the global Envirotemp FR3 fluid business and brand from Milwaukee-based Cooper Power Systems, a subsidiary of Cooper Industries plc. Cargill currently manufactures the FR3 renewable dielectric fluid made from vegetable oil that is used in a wide range of applications for transformers and other electrical equipment. “Having pioneered the natural ester transformer oil market, Cooper Power Systems has significant practical experience with the performance and sustainability advantages of FR3,” said Mark Thurman, president, Cooper Power Systems. “We expect this market to continue to experience extremely strong growth.” Cargill currently manufactures FR3 fluid as a supplier to Cooper Power Systems. “Now, as a marketer and manufacturer, we will focus on growing the business with other customers seeking a high-performance, renewable fluid,” said Kurtis Miller, president, Cargill Industrial Oils & Lubricants (IOL). Miller said that Cargill “will work closely with electrical utility and transformer customers to increase usage of natural, ester-based FR3 fluid.” In 2008, FR3 fluid was approved and listed for the USDA BioPreferred program, and in 2011, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved FR3 fluid for Capital Treatment, which allows utilities to capitalize all costs incurred to retrofill a transformer with the bio-based dielectric coolant. As a result, demand for FR3 fluid has increased. There are currently more than 450,000 transformers filled with FR3 fluid on six continents.