CHOPIN, La. – Martco, LLC, the parent company of the third-generation, family-owned timber sourcing and manufacturing company RoyOMartin, announced it will invest $9.5 million to install technologically advanced production equipment at its Natchitoches Parish lumber mill.
The RoyOMartin plywood manufacturing facility in Chopin is one of the parish’s largest employers, and the expansion will allow the company to retain approximately 684 existing jobs through 2035.
“RoyOMartin has been driving economic activity and providing good jobs for Louisiana workers in north and central Louisiana for nearly 100 years, and I thank them for their continued commitment to our state,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “The timber industry has long contributed mightily to Louisiana’s economic growth, with an average impact of $7 billion a year. Investments like this one help to sustain our rural communities and ensure that Louisiana lumber mills will remain an important part of global supply chains for years to come.”
Located off Interstate 49 between Alexandria and Natchitoches, the Chopin plant began production in 1996 and has since undergone multiple expansions that established it as one of the largest single-site plywood production facilities in North America. The equipment upgrades will add cutting-edge vision and robotics among other technological enhancements, resulting in faster and more efficient production of plywood, timbers and boards.
“RoyOMartin-Plywood manufacturing facility continues to modernize its operations to be competitive in the future,” RoyOMartin Chairman, CEO and CFO Roy O. Martin III said. “The plywood mill has been in continuous operation since 1996 and has survived the Great Recession, COVID pandemic and other harsh obstacles without downtime. The team leaders and team members at this facility deserve the job sustainability and security that this project and previous modernization projects provide.”
Martco is a subsidiary of Martin Sustainable Resources, an equity investment company privately held by the family of the Roy O. Martin Lumber Company founder, Roy O. Martin, Sr. The company began operations in 1923 as a single small sawmill in Alexandria; it now owns nearly 550,000 acres of timberland that supplies raw material to manufacturing facilities in Chopin and Oakdale, La., and Corrigan, Texas. Its corporate headquarters remains in Alexandria almost a century later.
“Natchitoches Parish is proud to have a company focused on bringing innovation and technology to the forefront of manufacturing in our community,” Natchitoches Parish President John Richmond said. “We thank RoyOMartin and its team for working diligently on this project and enhancing the company’s well-paying, quality jobs. This expansion will benefit and improve the overall quality of life in our parish.”
To secure the project in Chopin, the state of Louisiana offered Martco a competitive incentive package including a performance-based retention and modernization tax credit of up to $400,000 contingent on the company meeting capital expenditure and payroll commitments. The company is also expected to participate in the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption program.
“RoyOMartin is an incredible asset for Natchitoches Parish, and it’s exciting to see this retention and reinvestment happening in north Louisiana,” North Louisiana Economic Partnership President and CEO Justyn Dixon said. “We congratulate RoyOMartin on this expansion and commend Louisiana Central, the Natchitoches Parish Council and all those dedicated to bringing this reinvestment to north Louisiana.”
“Protecting existing jobs with productivity-enhancing capital investments helps RoyOMartin continue on its path as an industry innovator and leader,” Louisiana Central President and CEO Jim Clinton said. “The jobs at the Chopin facility represent part of the backbone of central Louisiana’s economy. Louisiana Central salutes RoyOMartin for its forward-looking investments.”
Louisiana Economic Development Press Release