NEW LIMERICK, Maine — Another major expansion is coming for a plant in New Limerick that is already one of the area’s largest employers.
Louisiana-Pacific Houlton is beginning a $400 million expansion of its New Limerick plant to double production capacity for SmartSide Siding and Trim, which is an engineered wood strand technology that protects against hail, wind, humidity, fungal decay and termites, the company said.
Wednesday’s announcement comes just two months after LP unveiled a $150 million renovation to its factory to produce the SmartSide line of products. The new expansion will create approximately 100 new jobs.
LP is a 50-year-old global manufacturer of high performance engineered wood products used in the construction, repair and renovation of homes and outdoor structures. LP Houlton was commissioned in 1981 as an oriented strand board plant and is LP’s second longest running facility. This will be LP’s third major capital expansion project in Houlton and the second since 2021.
The expansion will add a second SmartSide production line in early 2023, allowing the facility to generate an additional 340 million square feet per year, according to senior corporate communications specialist Colby Wilson.
The additional square footage will bring LP’s total SmartSide capacity to approximately 2.6 billion square feet, with more than 500 million square feet generated at the Houlton site alone.
“The project will add a new forming line and press to the facility, which will join LP Hayward as LP’s second two-line facing facility,” Wilson said.
On Wednesday, U.S. senses Angus King and Susan Collins and U.S. Representative Jared Golden applauded the announcement.
“LP Houlton’s new siding production line is a huge investment in the future of northern Maine and its people,” the two senators said in a statement.
They said the expansion would increase opportunities in the forest products industry, including loggers, haulers and everyone who depends on Maine’s forests.
“For more than a generation, LP Houlton workers have embodied the county’s work ethic and spirit by crafting modern wood products used around the world. The new line will build on this proud heritage of excellence, grow the region’s economy and help LP reach emerging markets with its world-class products,” they said.
LP Houlton employs 160 people, already making it one of the largest employers in southern Aroostook County.
The facility recently transitioned to modern SmartSide sustainable home siding and is expected to produce 220 million square feet of the product by the end of the year, enough for 100,000 homes.
Collins attended the grand opening of the new $150 million coatings manufacturing facility in August, and King toured the facility shortly before it opened.