In 1979 GFP learned of OSB, both its potential to supplant plywood and its ability to use relatively inexpensive raw material in locales distant from plywood sources. GFP assembled the pieces of a development puzzle with a site at New Limerick, Maine, ample supply of Poplar (Aspen) raw material, process engineering, outbound transport and wholesale distribution of the product. GFP met and formed a co-development arrangement with Harry Merlo, CEO of Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, which had its first OSB mill under construction at Hayward, Wisconsin. The factory was built according to GFP development plan. Shortly after startup, GFP executed an exit option from its Maine project with a vision of taking OSB to Europe.
Louisiana-Pacific has continued operation of the GFP-conceived mill at New Limerick. In 2008, L-P completed conversion of the facility to manufacture laminated strand lumber an advanced, lumber-like product composed of oriented wood strands. So the raw material, site, proximity to market, workforce and other elements which GFP spotted in 1979 were reconfirmed 30 years later as being well suited for renewed investment in manufacture of a state-of-the-art engineered wood product.
Photo of the New Limerick Mill courtesy of Businesswire