CalPlant I Nears The Finish (Or Starting) Line

One of the many intriguing tales to emerge from the Panel & Engineered Lumber International Conference & Expo held March 12-13 at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta was the plight of CalPlant I, the new rice straw-based medium density fiberboard plant entering startup in Willows, Calif. Co-founder and CEO Jerry Uhland told the story of the long and winding road, and the roadblocks therein, to reach the financial and physical realization of the plant, which is why his talk was entitled, 20 Years, 8 Months and 17 Days…But Who’s Counting.

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Read about us on Page 32: CalPlant’s MDF performs similar, and in some cases better than, traditional wood fiber-based product in terms of durability and moisture resistance. It’s ideal for interior installs, such the cross bands in plied composite panels, laminate flooring, doors, and carved molding and trims.

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CalPlant uses a local agricultural fiber (rice straw), whose disposal typically wastes water and generates greenhouse gases, to create a formaldehyde-free MDF with superior performance over similar wood-based products.

New rice straw-based MDF plant set to start production in California

A new rice straw-based MDF plant is now under construction north of Sacramento and is scheduled to begin production this fall.

Construction of CalPlant I, the $315 million manufacturing plant, is more than 80 percent complete. An inventory of more than 200,000 tons of rice straw is currently in storage at the CalPlant site in Willows, California, for the first run of panels, which should come off the line this November, according to CalPlant CEO Jerry Uhland.

Construction of CalPlant nears completion

Construction on a facility 20 years in the making is set to be complete in the fall.

CalPlant 1 will be the world’s first commercial-scale producer of no-added-formaldehyde, rice straw-based medium density fiberboard, commonly used to make things like furniture and kitchen cabinets, according to a fact sheet.

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With the word that hiring is beginning for the new fiberboard plant west of Willows, it looks like a dream has become a reality.

CalPlant 1 will use rice straw to make medium-density fiberboard, a building material used in cabinets and furniture and the like. Production is slated to start later this year.

CalPlant MDF Operation to Start Production This Fall

Willows, Calif., July 23, 2019 (CalPlant Press Release) -CalPlant I (CalPlant), the $315 million rice straw-based MDF plant currently under construction in Willows, Calif., is scheduled to begin production this fall, according to CalPlant CEO Jerry