People in Prince Albert will have to wait at least a year and a half before the city's long-closed pulp mill will be running again.


Prince Albert's pulp and paper mill was supposed to open in fall 2013, but that has been delayed to a year and a half from now. (CBC)

The pulp and paper mill was formerly operated by Weyerhaeuser and permanently closed in 2006, putting about 700 people out of work.

Paper Excellence bought the mill in 2011, and hope was that it would re-open in the fall of 2013.

The company said there are a few reasons for the delay including a new technology that will allow it to produce paper pulp.

"Quite simply, the new technology they have to offer would result in a lowered capital cost by about $85 or $90 million," said Dale Patterson, the vice president of operations for Paper Excellence. "It's a substantial amount."

Patterson said there have also been maintenance issues.

"Yes there were mechanical problems, yes there were instrumentation problems," he said.  "That's to be expected because it was shut down for six years."

The company is also in negotiations to alter the sale agreement so it can make paper pulp.

Right now there are 113 people working on the site.  The company is producing energy for SaskPower.

Once it's fully operational, the mill will have 250 people working there.