Contentious plans for a £325 million woodchip-burning biomass plant at Dundee harbour have been scrapped.
The announcement prompted by the scheme’s major backers SSE pulling out of all biomass projects has been hailed by opponents of the controversial project.
Andrew Llanwarne of Friends of the Earth Tayside said: “This is great news for Dundee and for all the people who campaigned tirelessly against such an ill-thought-through proposal.”
Dundee Labour councillor Richard McCready, who led opposition to the project in the council chambers, said: “These plans were bad for the people of Dundee as there would have been a detrimental impact on air quality.”
He was sceptical about claims that it would create hundreds of jobs and added: “I am sure that the thousands of people who objected will be pleased to see that it will not come forward.”
Forth Energy, a joint venture of harbour owners Forth Ports and Scottish and Southern Energy, have withdrawn their application for the project at Dundee, which was to be determined by a Government inquiry.
The inquiry was triggered by the city council’s decision last June to formally object to the plant.
Forth Energy’s claim that the plant would produce a negligible amount of pollution was rejected by opponents, who were concerned about its impact on existing high pollution levels.
They also feared the building dominated by a 90-metre stack would cast a dark shadow over the waterfront and compromise regeneration efforts.
The project was the subject of a Courier debate last May, where local opposition to the proposal was clear.
Referring the biomass decision to the Scottish Government placed a question mark over the project as the inquiry process lengthened the timescale for its possible completion in 2017 and profitability.
The decision by site neighbour Nynas to end bitumen production was another problem as the company would have been the main customer for the plant’s heat.
Forth Energy responded to these developments by saying they were considering their position, and the impasse was ended by SSE’s decision to pull out of all biomass projects.
Mr Llanwarne said the biomass project only made sense with Government subsidies to help meet targets for renewable electricity production.
“It would have been highly inefficient as a means of producing electricity,” he added.
Council administration leader Ken Guild said the authority was awaiting confirmation on the position.