RoyOMartin-Martco Ltd. Partnership will invest $20 million to modernize and expand its Martco plywood facility in Chopin, Louisiana. The firm plans to upgrade drying equipment, add a production line and create 24 jobs. The company will also retain 686 jobs.
Louisiana Economic Development estimates the expansion project will result in an additional 56 indirect jobs, creating a total of 80 new jobs for the area.
Founded in 1923, RoyOMartin and its family of companies manage 582,000 acres of timber and related resources while manufacturing wood products as one of the largest independent lumber companies in the South. RoyOMartin's Chopin and Oakdale mills employ a combined 847 workers, and employment statewide totals more than 1,000 people.
"Through the dedication and skill of our great employees and their ability to produce quality wood products, RoyOMartin has survived one of the worst housing markets in recent memory," company President Roy O. Martin III said. "Now, as we begin to experience a resurgence in the construction industry and a renewed demand for our products, we are expanding our manufacturing operations to meet the anticipated need for wood products while continuing to build upon our 90-year commitment to Central Louisiana."
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "Over the past 90 years, RoyOMartin has become one of the leading industrial employers in Louisiana and a huge economic driver for Central and North Louisiana. We're proud that the company continues to modernize and expand its facilities in our state because of our strong business climate, world-class infrastructure, vast timber resources and skilled workforce. This expansion keeps RoyOMartin and Martco at the cutting-edge of the wood products industry and secures hundreds of valuable existing jobs while creating new career opportunities for our people."
LED's Business Expansion and Retention Group began discussions with the company about potential expansion opportunities in February. As an incentive to secure the project, the state offered RoyOMartin-Martco a $1 million Modernization Tax Credit, to be claimed over five years. In addition, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana's Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
"We are very pleased that RoyOMartin will be expanding its Chopin Plant facility, which is already the largest of its kind in North America," Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin said. "RoyOMartin plays a major role in the economic condition of Natchitoches Parish, and this expansion will mean additional job opportunities for our people. The company is also an outstanding corporate citizen and supports numerous community programs throughout Central Louisiana. We appreciate the company's contributions to our parish and congratulate it on its success."