Graftech Inc. Announces Completion of Phase One Test of Canadian Natural Graphite Flake Deposit

New site promises to be source for low cost natural graphite flake used to manufacture flow field plates for PEM fuel cells.

Published: 07-Mar-2001

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 7, 2001--Graftech Inc., a subsidiary of UCAR International Inc. (NYSE:UCR), today announced the completion of the first phase of a study to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of the Lac Knife graphite flake deposit in Quebec, Canada. The study results were favorable and demonstrate that the flake will meet the requirements for Graftech's manufacturing processes.

The next phase in development will be to test a large-scale sample of Lac Knife materials, which is scheduled to begin later this year. Additional evaluations, leading to preliminary extraction and processing design, will take place in a third phase, following the large sample testing.

The Lac Knife deposit is expected to be an excellent source of high-quality, low cost natural graphite flake for the manufacture of GRAFCELL(TM) advanced flexible graphite materials for flow field plates, a key component of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, as well as for eGRAF(TM) products for thermal management for computer and electronic applications.

"We are pleased with the results of the study," commented John Wetula, Graftech's President. "We entered into a sourcing agreement with Mazarin, Inc., (TSE:MAZ) a natural resource company specializing in the mining and processing of industrial materials, last year in order to ensure a high quality supply of natural graphite flake to meet Graftech's growth opportunities. Study results put us on track to meet this key milestone in our supply chain initiatives, which are an important driver of our strategy to commercialize proprietary technologies into high growth markets."

After completion of the full study, Graftech has the option to commence commercial production of the deposit with Mazarin, obtain a controlling interest in the Mazarin subsidiary which owns the deposit, and purchase the entire production of natural graphite flake from the deposit. At full capacity, the Lac Knife deposit should produce about 50,000 tons of flake graphite per year, which would make it one of the largest sources of graphite flake in the world.

Graftech produces expandable graphite flake and flexible graphite, which it sells under the trade names GRAFOIL(R), GRAFGuard(R), GRAFSHIELD(TM), and GRAFCELL(TM). Flexible graphite is used in gasket and other sealing applications for internal combustion engines and in pipe flanges and process equipment used in the petrochemical and chemical industry. Flexible graphite is also used in high temperature furnaces and for heat dissipation in electronic applications. Graftech is exploring alternative natural graphite technologies, including thermal applications in computers and other electronic devices, fire protection applications in construction and building materials, energy applications in batteries and supercapacitors, and heat management applications in insulation for industrial furnaces.

Graftech Inc. develops and manufactures flexible graphite for gasket and sealing applications, for use in the manufacture of flow field plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, for thermal applications in computer and other electronic devices, fire protection applications, energy management applications in devices such as batteries and supercapacitors, and furnace applications. GRAFCELL(TM) and eGraf(TM) are trademarks of Graftech Inc.

UCAR International Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of graphite and carbon electrodes and cathodes, as well as flexible graphite. It sells its products in more than 80 countries and has manufacturing facilities on four continents. Graphite electrodes, its principal product, are consumed primarily in the production of steel in electric arc furnaces, the steelmaking technology used by all "mini-mills," and for refining steel in ladle furnaces. Carbon electrodes are consumed in the manufacture of silicon metal. Cathodes are used in the production of aluminum. UCAR also manufactures other graphite and carbon products.

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