RWE npower, the UK subsidiary of the German giant, has announced a decision not to proceed with the planned conversion of an oil-fired power station in the UK to run on plam oil on environmental grounds.

Under the original proposals, the Littlebrook station in Dartford, in the southeast of the country, was expected to burn 100% biomass. However, tough self-imposed sustainability criteria meant it was not possible to source the large volumes of palm oil required to make the conversion economically viable.

RWE npower has said that while technically feasible, the proposals would not be financially viable without an adverse environmental impact in south east Asia, the main source of the oil.