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

Business Editors

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.

NOTE: This news release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements about such matters as future demand for flexible graphite, future supply of natural graphite flake, future development, quality, production and uses of natural graphite flake from an undeveloped deposit, future operational and financial performance of various businesses, strategic plans and programs, impacts of supply chain and technology projects, and future costs and business opportunities. We have no duty to update such statements. Actual future events and circumstances (including future performance, results and trends) could differ materially from those set forth in these statements due to various factors. These factors include the possibility that the studies may not lead to the results anticipated, announced additions to capacity for producing flexible graphite may not occur, fuel cells and other commercial applications for flexible graphite may not become viable or accepted in the marketplace or may use substitute materials, the deposit may not render the supply of useable graphite flake currently anticipated, the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances relating to pending antitrust investigations or pending antitrust lawsuits, the commencement of new investigations or lawsuits relating to the same subject matter of these pending investigations or lawsuits, the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances relating to strategic plans or programs or realignment, strategic alliance, supply chain, technology development, restructuring, joint venture, operating, capital, rationalization, integration or other projects, changes in currency exchange rates, charges in market interest rates, changes in the business, prospects, results of operations or financial conditions of Graftech or UCAR, changes in our need for or availability of funds, failure to satisfy conditions or milestones to Graftech's alliance or development projects with Ballard, or changes in global or regional economic and competitive conditions, changes in market energy and petroleum costs, technological developments, and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in UCAR's filings with the SEC. The statements contained in this news release shall not be deemed to constitute an admission as to any liability in connection with any claim or lawsuit. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.

For news releases via fax dial 800/239-5323. For additional information on UCAR call 615/760-7700 or visit its website at www.ucar.com, and for additional information on Graftech, call 216/529-3777 or visit its website at www.graftech.com.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 7, 2001
Words:997
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