The Oxnard paper mill was built in 1955 on the Southern California coast. It was one of the first paper mills to use 100 percent recycled fiber in the country. In the 1980s, the Oxnard mill was rebuilt. A new secondary fiber plant and package boiler was added to supply 335 tons per day of corrugating medium. The line shaft drive was replaced with electric drives, and an energy-efficient cogeneration plant was built. The cogeneration plant included an aero derivative gas turbine — the same engine you find hanging from a jet wing — to power and provide steam to the plant as well as the first air emissions control equipment utilizing a Selective Catalytic Reduction unit to ensure low emissions of nitrogen oxides.
The plant continued to make improvements throughout the ’90s. It purchased seven acres, making it a 19-acre site. An activated sludge wastewater treatment plant was added. And a Voith Sulzer shoe press was installed as well as a more efficient gas turbine, with a capacity of 29 MW. In 2000, the plant added a new pulper, storage tanks, reject handling equipment and a chiller for the power plant to allow future expansion in the paper mill.
Today, the modern mill employs more than 100 individuals. It uses 100 percent recycled fiber from old corrugated boxes it collects from the Los Angeles area. Those boxes are taken from the waste stream, allowing Oxnard to produce 200,000 tons of high-quality corrugated medium a year.
The Oxnard paper mill is unique in that it isn’t located on a river. Because water isn’t readily available, it has created a “water closed” system. It uses much less water than other systems, and what it does use, it recycles numerous times. The mill needs only 14 MW to operate but produces 29 MW. It sells the additional energy — enough to power 10,500 homes. The Oxnard team is both skilled and knowledgeable. It has more than 50 years’ experience responding to its customers’ needs and supplying them with a consistent and quality product.