BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Gov. John Bel Edwards and Chairman Roy O. Martin III of forest products company Martco LLC announced the company will invest a combined $25 million to modernize its production facilities in Louisiana.
The facilities, which operate under the trade name RoyOMartin, include an oriented strand board site in Oakdale that will receive a $23 million capital investment, and a plywood manufacturing site in Chopin, which will receive a $2.2 million capital investment. With the projects, the company will retain 1,031 employees in Louisiana and create 10 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $40,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the projects will result in 28 new indirect jobs, for a total of 38 new jobs.
“RoyOMartin is a prime example of a Louisiana-based company that is committed to supporting our state, our economy and our people,” Gov. Edwards said. “The company’s continual reinvestment in Louisiana facilities is a testament to the strength of our natural resources, our highly skilled workforce, and our welcoming business community. This latest investment reaffirms RoyOMartin’s stance as a community partner dedicated to Louisiana’s future.”
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.
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.
Founded in 1923, the Martin family business and its subsidiaries manage 550,000 acres of timber and related resources while manufacturing wood products as one of the largest independent lumber companies in the South. In addition to the facilities in Chopin and Oakdale, the Texas subsidiary of RoyOMartin operates a Corrigan, Texas, plant that produces oriented strand board, or OSB.