FRANKFURT, Oct 19 (Reuters) - German chemical giant BASF said on Wednesday it would gradually ramp up production again of key petrochemical sites at its Ludwigshafen headquarters after a deadly fire and explosion on Monday had forced it to close them.
BASF said the two Ludwigshafen steam crackers, which turn oil distillates into basic petrochemical building blocks for anything from plastics and coatings to solvents, would gradually resume output over the next few days because alternative supply lines will circumvent the disaster area.
Downstream sites which have been shut down because they rely on supply from the steam crackers will also resume operations as a result, BASF said in a statement.
It added that in total, 24 sites including the steam crackers are currently off stream or working at reduced loads as a result of the accident, which killed three and injured 25.
Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Victoria Bryan