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Columbia Forest Products Signs Deal To Sell California Rice Straw MDF

Hardwood plywood manufacturer Columbia Forest Products signed an agreement with MDF producer CalPlant I to be its exclusive sales agent for all MDF produced at the new manufacturer’s Sacramento Valley facility.

CEO Jerry Uhland says CalPlant I will be North America’s first commercial-scale producer of no-added-formaldehyde, rice straw-based MDF, with design, production capacity of the plant will be approximately 140 million square feet 3/4 basis annually.

Rice straw is an annually renewable material, and all furnished for the plant will be procured each year from Sacramento Valley rice growers within a 15- to 25-mile radius of the plant site. “CalPlant I will manufacture high-performance MDF with an extremely consistent pipeline of raw materials,” Uhland says.

Like wood, rice straw is a cellulosic material, and our MDF will offer all the same performance characteristics as conventional, wood-based MDF. Employing a Generation 9 Siempelkamp continuous press, which is 10 feet wide and 115 feet (35 meters) long, CalPlant I will be staffed by 90 full-time employees with 400 part-time jobs created during the annual straw-collection period. The mill will be able to produce MDF thicknesses of 2.0 mm to 30 mm.

Columbia Forest Products was an early investor in the CalPlant I project and has been an important partner throughout its development. “The CalPlant I partnership will enable us to diversify Columbia’s product lines and create new, complementary sources of revenue, ” Thompson said. “And its environmental characteristics are completely aligned with Columbia’s longstanding commitment to sustainability. ”

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