DALLAS — Only a year after Louisiana-Pacific Co. finished divesting its noncore assets, the Portland, Ore.-based company has made it clear where its interest lies: outdoor vinyl and composite building products. L-P announced at the International Builders' Show, held Jan. 14-17 in Dallas, it will add three plants to manufacture its new line of composite decking and railing.
"Composites are growing as fast as capacity is being brought on. There is a demand for these products," said Marty Fajerman, L-P product manager.
Eight extruders will occupy the 50,000-square-foot plant in Selma, Ala., which is scheduled to open and begin production in June. The second plant is expected to open only three months later at an as-yet undisclosed location in California. The location for the third plant, planned for 2001, is undetermined, he said.
Fajerman said the company is unsure whether it will buy or build those extrusion facilities.
Initially, the new composite plants will extrude only the decking planks while the railing will be outsourced. L-P is unsure when it will assume the manufacturing for that line, Fajerman said.
But the changes for Louisiana-Pacific don't stop there.
L-P has developed its own line of vinyl siding and exterior polystyrene molding, said John Sooker, the vinyl business director of L-P subsidiary ABTCo.
Though it will be marketed under the Louisiana-Pacific name, the siding and molding will be manufactured and sold by L-P's ABTCo. unit, which is based in Huntersville, N.C.
Louisiana-Pacific has been manufacturing the molding for a Florida builder for more than a year, Fajerman said, and the product has worked well.
"We wanted to test it to see how it worked with this builder but our intention all along was to bring it into the marketplace," he added.
Unlike ABTCo.'s siding, Louisiana-Pacific's brand will be sold only to distributors, not to retailers, Sooker said.
ABTCo. already has the capacity to handle the manufacturing of additional products but will consider expansion if demand warrants it, Fajerman said.