One of southern Aroostook County’s largest employers is about to get bigger, thanks to a major investment announced on Wednesday.

LP Building Solutions says it will invest close to $400 million to expand its LP (Louisiana-Pacific) Houlton facility in New Limerick to manufacture more of its flagship siding product, known as SmartSide. This comes on the heels of a $150 million investment rolled out in August to convert the facility from the manufacture of oriented strand board to the company’s new SmartSide trim and siding product.

Maine Governor Janet Mills called the investment “a testament to the hardworking people of the County and to the strength of Maine's economy.”

The $400 million expansion will nearly double LP Houlton’s manufacturing capacity of SmartSide product and is expected to create an additional 100 jobs. The company currently employs 160 people in southern Aroostook.

U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representative Jared Golden celebrated Wednesday’s announcement, saying it would increase opportunities across the forest products industry – benefiting loggers, haulers, and everyone else in between who relies on Maine forests.

“We’re grateful for this vote of confidence in the skill and dedication of LP’s workers and look forward to seeing the positive effect it will have across Aroostook communities,” they wrote in a joint statement.

SmartSide siding and trim incorporates engineered wood strand technology to protect against hail, wind, moisture, fungal decay and termites, according to LP Building Solutions’ website.

LP Houlton first opened in 1981 to manufacture oriented strand board and is one the Tennessee-based company’s longest-running facilities.

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