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Approval for early start of Direct to Bone project

Successful Opening of new Production Facility

Marktredwitz, 16 October 2005 / The sun shone and created a beautiful backdrop for the official opening of the new CeramTec production facility for Medical Products in Marktredwitz. Some 250 invited guests from the worlds of politics and industry, along with many employees, enjoyed numerous speeches and were able to take part in guided tours through the new production facility. The afternoon was rounded off with culinary specialties from around the region accompanied by the sound of jazz. The Minister of State for Bavaria, Dr. Werner Schnappauf, had an extremely special gift for CeramTec with him when he handed Dr. Ulf-D. Zimmermann, Chief Executive Officer of CeramTec, the permit for early commencement of measures under the Direct to Bone project, for which support had been sought from the State of Bavaria.

Dr. Jürgen Huber, a member of the Executive Board of CeramTec and plant manager in Marktredwitz, welcomed the many guests and led them through the program. Dr. Ulf-D. Zimmermann, Chief Executive Officer of CeramTec, was delighted to see so many prominent names from the world of politics, which underlined the significance of the new building and the investment. Apart from Minister of State Dr. Werner Schnappauf, the President of the Regional Administration, Hans Angerer, members of parliament, Petra Ernstberger and Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, state delegate Dr. Karl Döhler, District Governor Dr. Peter Seisser and the Lord Mayor of Marktredwitz Dr. Birgit Seelbinder were all present. Marktredwitz, which beat off competition from several other locations for the project, boasts a large number of well educated and flexible employees, which was another reason for choosing the Upper Franconia location. CeramTec demonstrates how it is also possible to be successful in Germany. With a call to politicians to further improve conditions for industry in Germany, in order to make Germany successful, he handed over to the guest of honor.

Dr. Werner Schnappauf, Minster of State for Industry for the State of Bavaria took up the reins. He regards the challenge for the new government as being, above all, to break down bureaucracy in Germany in order to strengthen German industry, especially in view of the increasing international competition from the Far East. He thanked Dr. Zimmermann and CeramTec in the name of the Free State of Bavaria and its people for the Euro 45 million investment in Marktredwitz, which will create 130 new jobs with a promising future. It will also help to promote the structural transformation of the region and bring more high-tech companies to Bavaria. He confirmed that the future was bright for CeramTec products, as life expectancy is increasing and with it the number of joint conditions that one can relieve with CeramTec products. He closed by handing Dr. Zimmermann the permit for early commencement of measures under the Direct to Bone project, for which support had been sought from the State of Bavaria. This project is aimed at developing a ceramic material that can fuse directly with the bone and further reduce complications in hip joint implants.

District Governor Dr. Peter Seisser and the Lord Mayor of Marktredwitz, Dr. Birgit Seelbinder, congratulated CeramTec on behalf of the state and city. Following the 100th anniversary of the Marktredwitz plant that took place only a few years ago, another exciting chapter was being added to the location s history. The current employees and their experience in processing technical ceramics were a base that could be built upon.

Manfred Loos, Central Works Council of CeramTec, also spoke about the employees. After all, they were the most important asset a company could hope to possess. He thanked the Executive Board of CeramTec for their decision in favor of Marktredwitz; this was also securing the future of the location. He again emphasized the significance of the company within the entire industry; CeramTec was indeed a global market leader in the production of ceramic components for artificial hip joints.

The program of speakers ended with the architect in charge of the project, Wolfgang Gerlach, who had a special word of thanks for all those people and companies involved in the building and for the fast processing of all permit applications by the city and the state, which turned out to be key to the short construction time for the production building.

In a short ecumenical ceremony, Monsignor Heinrich Benno Schäffler and Father Hans-Joachim Hornfleck jointly blessed the building and made special reference to all the people who worked in this building. Hand in hand with God s help, they create values here. The handover of the keys by the architect to the Executive Board of CeramTec, and the joint lighting of the first sintering furnace by Minister of State Schnappauf and Dr. Zimmermann, closed the official part of the opening celebrations.

Dr. Martin Dietrich, Head of the Medical Products Division at CeramTec, then led the guest of honor and representatives of the press in attendance through the production facility and explained the individual production stages.

Further information, as well as all the facts and figures relating to the construction of the production building, can be obtained from the press release "Opening of the new production building for medical products" also filed here.