The European Commission has removed an obstacle preventing Brazil-based Braskem from becoming the largest polypropylene producer in the US - approving its purchase of Dow Chemical's polypropylene business.

Brussels, acting as the European Union's senior competition authority, authorised the acquisition by Braskem America Inc, the Brazilian chemical giant's US subsidiary. The Commission confirmed it had fast-tracked its approval without condition, channelled through its "simplified merger review procedure".

Its approval was necessary because the US$323m deal involved Braskem buying two polypropylene plants in Germany, at the petrochemical complexes of Wesseling and Schkopau, with a combined annual manufacturing capacity of 1.2bn pounds of polypropylene, a key textile input.

Braskem will also acquire two American plants, both in Texas, making around 1.1bn pounds annually. 

Speaking earlier, Braskem's CEO Carlos Fadigas said the acquisition "consolidates our leadership in polypropylene in the US, the largest thermoplastic resins market, and it also enhances our current position in Europe."