CalPlant1, the world’s first commercial-scale facility producing rice straw-based medium-density fiberboard, was recently named Engineering News-Record’s 2021 Global Best Manufacturing Project. ILB Electric, a division of International Line Builders, performed complete installation of all electrical infrastructure and lighting at the facility in Willows, California.

CalPlant 1 uses rice straw, an agricultural waste product, to produce a lighter, stronger alternative to wood-based MDF that produces fewer volatile organic compound emissions and contains no added formaldehyde. ILB Electric’s scope of work at the plant included installation of 21-kilovolt substation gear, including underground pathways and cables and their respective low-voltage switchgear.

To qualify for a global ENR award, projects must involve at least one firm working outside of its home country, and projects are partially weighted by how globally diverse those teams are. None of the entries could participate if they had any construction-related fatalities, and construction had to be completed between January 2020 and May 2021.

This year’s class of winners features 30 projects located in 21 countries on six continents. The projects will be spotlighted in ENR’s Dec. 13 issue. Engineering News-Record is a leading construction industry publication.

Watch a video about construction of the facility.