Plans to build four biodiesel plants across Europe, including a £65m site at Grangemouth near Edinburgh have been put on hold by chemical company Ineos.

It said the global economic downturn had forced it to cut back on “all non-essential growth capital expenditure”, at least until the economic outlook improved.

In total the plants would have had a combined capacity of about 2m tonnes a year. The three other proposed plants were at Antwerp in Belgium, Lavera in France and an unnamed site in Germany.