The $150 million investment will allow the mill to manufacture enough siding for 100,000 homes annually, increase demand for wood by 30%
New Limerick, ME—U.S. Senator Susan Collins attended a grand opening at the Louisiana Pacific Building Solutions (LP) Houlton facility to celebrate the successful conversion to manufacture LP SmartSide products.
In early 2021, LP Houlton announced a phased, multiyear plan to expand production of SmartSide, an advanced engineered wood siding used on the exterior of homes. The mill’s conversion to siding production reinvested $150 million into the facility and is expected to increase sustainably and locally sourced annual fiber consumption and substantially increase shipping volumes.
“I applaud Louisiana-Pacific for making the significant investment to manufacture its innovative SmartSide products here at LP Houlton. This new production line strengthens Maine’s position as a leader in engineered wood products,” said Senator Collins. “In January 2021, I joined in a conference call with Chairman and CEO Brad Southern and other company officials. At that time, Houlton LP was among three company facilities in North America being considered for this investment. They told me that the advantages Houlton offered included its location on the East Coast, its substantial supply of aspen, and access to an existing rail line to bring raw material in and ship finished product out.”
“But the main reason they said they were recommending Houlton to the company’s Board of Directors is its top-notch workforce, known for its skill, dedication, and work ethic,” Senator Collins continued. “This investment secures and grows good-paying, rewarding jobs. It will increase the wood supply needed here by 30 percent, benefitting our logging and transportation industries. It recognizes that from the depths of our woods to the factory floor, the men and women of Maine’s forest products industry get the job done.”
Due to increased demand for home construction products, production at the Houlton mill increased substantially during 2020, from 100 employees working five days a week to 160 working 24/7. The conversion to SmartSide production added a 90,000-square-foot facility to house new equipment to trim and finish the siding. Part of an existing building was also renovated for the new production line. The pressing of the mill’s first siding board took place in late March 2022 and expects to achieve full operating capacity within a year. The mill will be able to produce enough siding for 100,000 homes per year.