LP commits to State-of-the-Art OSB Mill in Clarke County

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 2004

Staff report

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Louisiana-Pacific Corporation Wednesday its intention to build a new state-of-the-art oriented strand board (OSB) mill in Clarke County. Company officials were on hand to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Clarke County, the Clarke County Industrial Development Board and the State of Alabama.

The MOU provides for LP to develop and construct an industrial facility to manufacture OSB products on approximately 820 acres of land near Thomasville. Pending execution of a definitive project agreement, LP will begin the first phase of plant development in the third quarter of 2005, with production start-up slated for late 2007.

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LP expects to employ at least 130 people at the plant, which will have an annual OSB production capacity of 700 million square feet.

“This new mill in Alabama, together with our joint venture OSB mill under construction in British Columbia and LP’s strategic $250 million capital plan to revitalize our existing OSB mills, reinforces our commitment to maintaining LP’s leadership position in the structural panels industry with state-of-the-art technology, low-cost manufacturing capacity and the highest quality for our customers,” LP CEO Rick Frost said.

“After a thorough site selection process, LP is very excited about locating our new OSB plant in southwestern Alabama,” explained Jeff Wagner, LP’s vice president, OSB. “Clarke County has proximity to a good wood supply, an excellent infrastructure for the wood products industry, and a strong trained labor force. Just as important, the leaders of Clarke County and the Clarke County Industrial Development Board have welcomed us warmly and worked extremely hard to reach this agreement for the long-term benefit of their community. The State of Alabama has provided strong support throughout the process. We greatly appreciate these efforts and commitments, and we look forward to rolling up our sleeves, working together to execute a definitive project agreement and starting construction of the plant. We believe that LP and Clarke County are a great fit.”

The Clarke County Development Foundation, which includes private citizens and businesses, the county commission and the mayors of every municipality in the county, worked out details of the project with LP.

“LP’s coming to Clarke County is a wonderful thing,” said Rubye Andrews, chairman of the Clarke County Commission. “This project shows that we can realize our goals when we’re working together. Credit goes to the elected officials, members of the industrial board and private citizens from across the county who worked together through the Clarke County Development Foundation to attract LP to the County. They realized that regardless of the site chosen by LP for construction of the mill, every citizen and community of the County would benefit.”

“We proudly welcome Louisiana-Pacific to Clarke County, and the new jobs and opportunity the company is bringing to this part of Alabama,” Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said. “The quality of Alabama’s workforce has led another world-class corporation to our state. In the past 23 months, more than 500 companies have either located their operations in Alabama or expanded their existing operations in Alabama. Our economy is on the right track, and with the help of companies like LP, it will remain on the right track.”

LP is a premier supplier of building products, delivering innovative, high-quality commodity and specialty products to its retail, wholesale, homebuilding and industrial customers. LP was founded in 1972 as a spinoff from Georgia-Pacific Corporation; LP became an independent corporation on January 5, 1973, and had sales its first year of $417 million. Building on its strong presence in lumber and plywood, LP pioneered the U.S. production of oriented strand board panels, at that time called “waferwood,” in 1982. Today, LP is the world’s largest producer of oriented strand board, which continues to replace plywood in

residential sheathing, roofing and flooring applications.

LP is the world’s top producer of OSB while being among the top manufacturers of engineered wood products. Net sales in 2003 were $2.3 billion.

In 2002, LP announced a plan to sell selected businesses and assets in order to significantly reduce its current debt. Also, LP announced its intention to focus on its OSB, engineered wood products, composite wood and plastic building products where it has a strong competitive position and where opportunities exist for profitable improvement.

With its Forex acquisition in 1999, LP has been able to more competitively serve fast-growing housing markets in the Northern United States and Eastern Canada.

Successful integration of ABTco Building Products Corp. expanded LP’s specialty product mix to more than 25 percent of its total product offering.

Through the December 1999 acquisition of Evans Forest Products, LP added additional laminated veneer lumber capacity, enabling the company to better supply engineered wood products to West Coast markets.

LP’s work force, including that of its subsidiaries, totals more than 6,000 employees.

Other products featured by LP include: Oriented Strand Board (OSB); Engineered Wood Products; Vinyl Siding; Engineered Wood Siding; Hardboard Siding and Trim Products; Radiant Barrier Panels; Decking Products; Mouldings and Wallcoverings; and Concrete Form Products.

LP distributes to Wholesale Distribution, Building Material Dealers, Retail “Do-It-Yourself” Home Centers, Manufactured Housing Producers and Industrial Manufacturers.

Visit LP’s Web site at www.lpcorp.com for additional information on the company.