Appearance of the Legionella bacterium and its probable spread from Borregaard

8 June: The Legionella bacterium has been detected in a scrubber facility at Borregaard's site in Sarpsborg. The facility is probably the source of the epidemic of Legionnaires' Disease in the area.

"Borregaard deeply regrets what has happened and wishes to express its profound sympathy with persons who through no fault of their own have been infected by Legionella, and with their families. Knowing that Legionella has been identified on our site, and probably spread from there into the community with such grave consequences for many people, weighs very heavily upon us. Our business depends on the confidence and trust of the community around us, which is why this is also a sad day for everyone working at Borregaard," says CEO Per Sørlie.
Our main task now is to satisfy ourselves that people on-site and in our neighbourhood can feel safe and secure when operations resume.
We are currently disinfecting the facility and will establish routines for monitoring and eliminating Legionella before the facility is switched on.
That an epidemic of legionnaires' disease can have its source in a scrubber facility of this type is new knowledge to us. Neither we, our equipment suppliers, trade experts or health authorities are aware that facilities of this type have caused the spread of Legionella. We have operated regular cleaning routines at the facility concerned, involving thorough cleaning, every three to four weeks.
We have devoted substantial resources to scrutinising the entire facility on a broad front. This process is continuing with the assistance of external specialists to ensure safe operation of the facility in future.