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SGL TECHNIC TO CREATE UP TO 64 NEW JOBS IN MUIR OF ORD

8th March 2007

Carbon Fibre Manufacturer Announces 22m Investment Over 3 Years

SGL Technic Ltd, a subsidiary of German based SGL Group, today announced a 22m investment to expand its manufacturing facility in Muir of Ord, near Inverness creating up to 64 new jobs over the next 3 years and safeguarding the employment of the company's 85 staff.

The Wiesbaden headquartered company is a leader in the research, development and manufacture of products made from carbon, graphite and composite materials. The new investment is a result of increasing world wide demand for carbon fibre from the electronics, aerospace, automotive and textiles industries and from new technology sectors such renewable energy.

Steadily increasing prices for energy and raw materials as well as growing demand for increasingly scarce resources require ever greater use of energy-saving, high-performance materials. Carbon fibres make it possible to manufacture materials which are both considerably lighter and more robust.

Carbon fibre is an important element of the new generation of airplanes such as the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, and the wind energy industry also needs carbon fibre materials for its new turbine blades which have spans of up to 60 metres.

Minister for Enterprise Nicol Stephen said: "SGL Technic's planned expansion near Inverness is excellent news for the local economy - bringing capital expenditure of 22 million to the area and showing a welcome commitment to Scotland's manufacturing sector.

"I am very pleased to support this expansion through a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant of 2 million which will result in the creation and safeguarding of around 150 jobs and show that Inverness is a great location for international companies to flourish."

In order to satisfy the increasing demand from customers worldwide, SGL Technic has implemented capital expenditure projects to increase its carbon fibre manufacturing capacity. In 2006, work began on construction of an additional carbon fibre production line in the plant in Inverness. This will start production in August 2007. A further line for Inverness is already being planned and will be ready in 2008.

John Pritchard, SGL Technic Operations Director, said: "We are delighted with the assistance from the Scottish Executive which will secure our position as one of the largest private sector employers in Easter Ross. SGL has been operating at Muir of Ord for the past 25 years and produces carbon fibre for items such as wind power turbine blades, hard disks, aircraft and car brakes which are exported around the world. The support of the Scottish Executive, Scottish Development International and Highlands and Islands Enterprise will ensure our on-going success for many years to come."

Martin Togneri, Chief Executive of Scottish Development International said: "The market for carbon fibre has been very volatile over the last decade with supply and demand issues but in the last few years this position has stabilised and companies such as SGL Technic are in a very strong position in a market which is finding new uses for its materials every day.

"Scotland is carving out a niche in skilled manufacturing in industries which have a global impact and SGL Technic's activities in Inverness make a valuable contribution and act as a great example to use when getting this message out in the market."

Marshall Doig, head of Growing Businesses for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Inverness and East Highland, said: "We are delighted with the announcement of assistance from the Scottish Executive which secures the company's position as one of the largest private sector employers in the Easter Ross, providing high quality jobs in manufacturing. The investment further boosts the economy, securing jobs in the area for the future. HIE IEH is currently working with the company to ensure their expansion plans and future property and training requirements are achieved."

About SGL Group - The Carbon Company
The SGL Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of carbon-based products. It has a comprehensive portfolio ranging from carbon and graphite products to carbon fibers and composites. SGL Group's core competencies are its expertise in high-temperature technology as well as its applications and engineering know-how gained over many years. These competencies enable the Company to make full use of its broad material base. SGL Group's carbon-based materials combine several unique properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity, heat and corrosion resistance
as well as high mechanical strength combined with low weight.

Due to the paradigm shift in the use of materials as a result of the worldwide shortage of energy and raw materials, there is a growing demand for SGL Group's high-performance materials and products from an increasing number of industries. Carbon and graphite products are used whenever other materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, plastics, wood etc. fail due to their limited properties. Products from the SGL Group are used
predominantly in the steel, aluminum, automotive, chemical and glass/ceramics industries. However, manufacturers in the semiconductor, battery, solar/wind energy, environmental protection, aerospace and defense industries as well as in the nuclear energy industry also figure among the Company's customers.

With around 30 production sites in Europe, North America and Asia as well as a service network covering more than 100 countries, the SGL Group is a company with a global presence. In 2006, the Company's workforce of 5,250 generated sales of 1.2 billion. The Company's head office is located in Wiesbaden/Germany.

Web site http://www.sglcarbon.de

 

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