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2000s – The Best and Worst of Times

After substantial capacity increases, the company enjoyed its best times during the build up of the housing industry. Housing starts rose to over 2 million in 2005. In July 2006, the housing bubble burst, and the wallboard industry began a steady decline in volume. By 2009, housing starts were approximately 500,000 annually. National Gypsum was forced to idle plants, reduce headcount, and make other budget reductions. The company continued to introduce new products and increase market share.

Cleburne, TX, PermaBase Plant constructed

May – Hi-Impact with Lexan laminate introduced

CEO Tom Nelson forms Interior Finishing Products and PermaBase units to increase focus on these lines of business

Website for customers – NGC4Me -- introduced

January 24 – Apollo Beach began production. Plant uses byproduct gypsum from Tampa Electric.

September – Company sends 10,000 ready mix pails to New York for the "Bucket Brigade" to sift through the rubble of the Twin Towers.

February 21 – Company signs agreement with Georgia-Pacific to purchase paper plant in Delair, NJ.

July – Research & Development moved from Buffalo to Charlotte. The company renovated a laboratory building at 5901 Carnegie Blvd., one mile from Headquarters. The operation was named the Technology Innovation Center. Acoustical and fire testing remained in Buffalo under the name, National Gypsum Testing Services.

September 25 – Shippingport receives Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

March – GridMarX introduced – faint blue Xs printed on the face paper to guide installers when fastening wallboard to framing

Company named one of America's Safest.

Tom Nelson named chairman and retains titles of president and CEO.

March – XP Gypsum Board introduced offering mold, mildew and moisture resistance. The distinctive purple colored paper was developed in 1993.

September 9 – Clinton (PermaBase) plant construction announced

 

OctoberIndustryWeek Magazine names Apollo Beach one of the 10 Best Manufacturing Plants in North America

 

Bromont PermaBase plant expanded

Second line added to Atlanta IFP plant

February – Spanish version of corporate website introduced. NGC licensed to use El Chapulin Colorado character to promote products to Latino population.

March 29 – Groundbreaking for Mt. Holly plant. Plant cost -- $125 million Capable of producing 1 billion square feet of board annually – enough to complete 100,000 homes. Byproduct qypsum supplied by four Duke Energy Plants.

April 28 – Company announces plans for plant in Eloy, AZ. Construction delayed due to recession. Estimated cost at the time $140 million.

July – Housing market begins to erode, marking the start of a protracted downturn in residential housing.

SeptemberIndustryWeek Magazine names Wilmington one of the 10 Best Manufacturing Plants in North America.

November – Headquarters lobby renovated.

April – SoundBreak introduced – reduces sound transmission

May 15 – MyNGC.com – employee portal – introduced

June – Belcamp IFP plant opens with two production lines. $15 million project. Baltimore IFP line closes.

August – Mt. Holly begins production.

September – Largest of Tampa's two production lines idled due to decline in business.

September 17 – Company license the El Chapulin Colorado character to appear on products and marketing materials for Latino community

September 17 – Mt. Holly delivers its first shipment to Colonial Materials in Charlotte. Mt. Holly a $125 million project.

October – Arizona plant construction and Anniston expansion delayed due to business climate.

February – Company enters joint venture with Panel Rey, SA to produce cement board in Mexico. Venture called PermaBase de Americas.

March 26, 2008 - NGC introduces its new e²XP line of fiberglass faced gypsum board products with the launch of its first offering, e²XP Sheathing, at the AWCI Convention and INTEX EXPO in Las Vegas, NV.

June 16 – Lorain and Tampa plants idled due to lack of business.

October 22 – CEO announces he will take no salary in 2009 and training is suspended due to recession in housing market.

November 21 – Company announces it will idle the Wilmington, Delair, and Rensselaer plants in the first quarter of 2009. From July 2006 to 2009, the company took 4 billion square feet of capacity out of production. Reductions in Headquarters and Sales staff also announced.

January – No merit increases for salaried employees, temporary suspension of 401(k) company match due to market conditions

February – Florida homeowners claim to have the same problem in their home as others were experiencing with defective Chinese drywall. The U.S. imported drywall from China during the housing boom when domestic producers could not meet demand. The defective Chinese drywall would off-gas hydrogen sulfide causing metal to corrode and creating a rotten egg smell. The Florida homeowners claimed to have only National Gypsum wallboard in their home.

March – Company engages Parker Engineering of Naperville, IL, to take samples from each piece of board in the Florida home and test it. The firm found the board did not contain elemental sulfur (S8) which was later identified as the “marker” for defective Chinese wallboard.

April – Packer Engineering releases its test results and determined the wallboard in the Florida homeowner’s house could not and did not cause the corrosion/blackening in the home. However, media, customer, and homeowner scrutiny intensified.

November – ThermalCore introduced at 2009 GreenBuild Conference. ThermalCore panels feature a phase change material, Micronal, which helps maintain constant room temperature.

Leading researchers at a technical symposium on defective Chinese drywall identify elemental sulfur (S8) as the “marker”’ for corrosive drywall.

December 24Melvin H. Baker, owned by Hon Tai Shipping of Taiwan, delivered to ship breakers – still bearing the Melvin H. Baker name.

 



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