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LP opens laminated strand lumber facility

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Nashville, Tenn.-based Louisiana-Pacific has opened a new laminates strand lumber (LSL) facility in Houlton, Maine.

Executive vp and CFO Curt Stevens called the new facility an “important investment project” for LP. The mill was converted from an oriented strand board (OSB) mill to produce the more eco-friendly LSL product.

LP will manufacture its SolidStart LSL products at the facility, an engineered lumber product that used 100 percent of each log — an “environmentally friendly alternative to traditional lumber that our customers have been asking for,” Stevens said.

The Houlton facility opened in 1982 as an OSB mill, and the expansion and conversion to an LSL mill represents an investment of more than $140 million, the company said. LP broke ground on the expansion in the fall of 2006, making its first board in March of this year.

Designed for an annual production capacity of seven million cubic feet, Houlton is LP’s first LSL manufacturing facility. The LSL wood is used in a variety of residential construction products, including headers and beams, wall studs, roof beams and rafters, truss chords, rim boards and stair stringers.

The expansion has added about 40 jobs to the Houlton mill, which now employs 158 workers.

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Western Forest Products to lay off 2,000 workers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Western Forest Products, the Vancouver-based forest products company, has announced plans to lay off nearly 2,000 employees, including 1,850 loggers and 100 sawmill workers.

The company cited falling demand for cedar products for the layoffs, as well as soft demand for forest products in the U.S. and Japanese markets, the two primary markets served by the company.

The company will curtail selected timber harvesting operations on Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Sunshine Coast during July and August. “This reduction represents slightly more than half the normal timber harvesting undertaken during this period,” according to the company.

Western also will shut down its Duke Point, B.C., sawmill location during the same two-month period. “This is in addition to the previously announced indefinite shutdown of the Ladysmith, (B.C.) sawmill, and various shorter term curtailments that take place at other mills,” the company said.

Areport in the Vancouver Sun estimated that there currently are more than 12,000 laid-off forest workers in British Columbia.

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Universal Forest Products expands in Oregon

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A subsidiary of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products has purchased certain assets of D-Stake Mill, in McMinnville, Ore., and Manufacturing Country, in Independence, Ore.

D-Stake and Manufacturing Country manufacture kiln stickers, lath, stakes, decking and pallets and pallet components for a variety of industries including manufacturing, retail and agriculture. In 2007, sales to their customer base, which is concentrated in California, Washington and Oregon, totaled approximately $18.5 million, according to the company. Universal Forest Products Western Division finalized the purchase on June 9.

“We continue to look for opportunities to grow our industrial business, and we’re pleased to add successful operations like D-Stake and Manufacturing Country,” said Universal Forest Products president and CEO Michael B. Glenn. “They know lumber, they know their business and how to serve their customers well, and they know how to run and maintain a profitable operation.”

Sales manager Dan Harris will remain with Universal as general manager of operations. Bob Harris will stay on as a consultant through the transition.

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