Governor Baldacci Applauds Louisiana Pacific’s ExpansionSeptember 06, 2006 - TRCNEW LIMERICK – Governor John E. Baldacci congratulated Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) on its plans to make an investment of more than $100 million into its Houlton mill, with plans to convert the mill into a high-tech engineered wood manufacturer.“LP chose the New Limerick facility as the site of its high-tech expansion because of the quality of the work force here in Maine,” said Governor Baldacci. “Maine’s workers are an extremely valuable asset to our economy and I thank LP for recognizing that we have the best work force in the nation here in Maine.”The investment will convert the facility into a manufacturer of oriented strand lumber (OSL), an engineered wood product used in various home construction applications. The plant will be LP’s first facility to produce OSL and one of the few OSL plants in North America when it begins manufacturing OSL in late 2007. The facility currently manufactures oriented strand board (OSB).The OSL investment includes new buildings and new equipment. In addition to new jobs to run the converted plant, more than 300 contractors will be employed during construction of the expanded facility. LP Houlton currently employs 124 workers.“The future of Maine’s economy is in technology and research and development,” said the Governor. “Through R&D, Louisiana-Pacific in New Limerick is delving into an entirely new product line, expanding operations and growing in an industry that is important to this state.”Governor Baldacci has lead the charge for Maine to strengthen its position in the global innovation driven economy through consistent and strategically focused investments. Between 2003 and 2005, institutional personnel in R&D increased 67%, faculty involved in R&D grew 66% and institutional R&D space grew 40%. The Governor stressed the importance of continuing to keep pace in the global economy by increasing investments in Maine’s current proven programs; expanding higher education to increase the state’s knowledge based work force; and growing and recruiting mid to large size innovation driven companies in Maine. “Research and development is such a large part of Maine’s success in the wood composites industry, because it is such an ever-changing industry and new technologies are leading the way,” said Governor Baldacci. “These new technologies and growth like we’re seeing here in New Limerick at LP is the future of the forest products business.”CONTACT: Crystal Canney, 287-2531, (cell) 557-5968 Dan Cashman, 287-2531, (cell) 837-4821 Read Online: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?id=23472&topic=Portal+News&v=article-2006NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.