Forest products company Martco, which operates under the trade name RoyOMartin, will invest a combined $25 million to modernize its production facilities in Oakdale and Chopin, Louisiana.
The facilities, which include an oriented strand board site in Oakdale, Louisiana, will receive a $23 million capital investment, and a plywood manufacturing site in Chopin, which will receive a $2.2 million capital investment.
The modernization of the Oakdale facility includes the installation of two cyclones on a dryer line and the installation of a new rotary drum dryer to replace an aging dryer. Additionally, the Oakdale facility will see the replacement of an existing water-cooled fuel furnace with an air-cooled furnace, and an upgrade to the site’s exhaust damper. The facility also will gain two 35-ton cranes to replace 15-ton cranes, with an upgrade for ground control of the cranes using the latest GPS technology. The modernization will decrease inefficiencies, lower fire hazards and enhance air quality.
“RoyOMartin believes in our team members and strives to give them the best tools and equipment to safely meet product demand and remain competitive and economically sustainable in our markets,” said Chairman Roy O. Martin, who also serves as CEO and CFO. “The replacement of our Oakdale facility’s log-crane system, with two high-capacity cranes that can be safely operated from the ground – along with new dryer capacity, will add years of service to the plant. Furthermore, our Chopin plywood mill has upgraded its scanning and control systems, which in addition to replacing its log-infeed systems will help sustain the facility for many years. These newest long-term commitments reflect RoyOMartin’s ongoing determination to maintain its reputation for having the safest, most technologically advanced and efficient wood-products facilities in North America.”
In Chopin, the company’s modernization will feature plantwide upgrades, including the installation of new programmable logic controllers for the site’s manufacturing process. The facility also will receive new equipment to improve safety and upgrade existing equipment.
“As the RoyOMartin plant in Oakdale is a leading employer in Allen Parish, this announcement of new capital investment and workforce expansion is a win-win for both the company and the community,” said President & CEO George Swift of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “For 97 years, RoyOMartin has been a valued part of the South Central Louisiana community, employing generations of workers. The SWLA Economic Development Alliance congratulates and applauds RoyOMartin for their commitment as a Louisiana-based industry continuing to grow their business locally.”
“RoyOMartin’s investment in modernizing its Martco plant will have a big economic impact for Chopin, Natchitoches Parish and the region,” said President Scott Martinez of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership. “The company’s commitment to the Chopin community is a testament to the region’s robust wood basket, great business climate and dedicated workforce.”
To secure the investments in the Chopin and Oakdale facilities, the State of Louisiana provided a competitive incentive package that includes a $300,000 Modernization Tax Credit to support the Oakdale facility. Additionally, the company is expected to participate in the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Enterprise Zone programs for both facility upgrades.