New Limerick, Maine (From news reports) -- A major construction project at the Louisiana Pacific Houlton mill in New Limerick will begin this summer. $150 million dollars is being invested in the project that will convert the mill to manufacture LP's Flagship product.
Louisiana Pacific has announced they are converting their LP Houlton mill in New Limerick to manufacture Smart Side Trim and Siding. The company announced they are investing $110 million dollars into new machinery and $40 million dollars to upgrade parts of the facility. This comes after the growing demand for SmartSide and to better infiltrate the new home construction and repair and remodel markets along the East Coast.
LP Houlton Plant Manager, Nathan Whitney said, "We've made the decision to expand the mill because OSB as a commodity product and is subject to fluctuation in market price. Siding is a value added product and it will allow the mill to run at a steady pace rather than up and downs like it has in the past."
This is the second time that LP has invested in a major capital expansion at the site, the last time was on 2008. The expansion will bring stability to the mill and will also benefit their log suppliers.
"The first thing it's going to bring is stability, we're going to be able to run a 24 hour 7 operation not have to take any down time, we're going to be able to maintain 160 employees that work here and were also expecting to increase our log usage by 30% so that's good news for area loggers and log suppliers and just in a community as a whole they will see an uptick in business as a result," said Whitney.
Nancy Ketch, Houlton's Community Development Director said, "We're thrilled to hear this news, LP has been a major employer in the community for now nearly 40 years and an expansion like this will be magnificent and I'm sure it will help local contractors as they do the expansion, it's going to maintain the jobs add a new line so we're really pleased we think it'll be a great economic boost to the area."
Construction is expected to start in June of 2021 with production of SmartSide beginning in early 2022.