It sounds pretty bad, coming on top of the Thamesteel crisis, but all is not lost for Sheppey and wind jobs despite the depressing withdrawal by Vestas.
Peel Ports, the owner of the proposed factory site at Sheerness - not Vestas - has the planning consent from Swale council. Although the Government might have called in the original proposal for a blade-making factory because of a listed building on the site, a refusal would have been unlikely in the face of such massive job creation - up to 2,000 - in a favoured sector.
The stage is now set for other firms to be encouraged by Peel, Locate in Kent, Kent County Council, Swale council and MPs to consider investing in a manufacturing or assembly plant, or a mixture of both.
It is possible that a similar number of jobs could be created but don’t hold your breath. It could be a lot fewer than the Vestas plan.
While Vestas blamed market uncertainty which had stalled orders for the decision, there is probably more to it than that. The Government was about to unveil a new Energy strategy which might have addressed some concerns.
But the winds of financial, technical and structural difficulty blowing across one of Denmark’s biggest firms, played a part. The manufacture of a prototype for the massive V164 blade that would have been built at Sheerness had been delayed. The firm had issued a profits warning, its share price had plummeted and bosses had been replaced. It was not a happy context for a big investment decision.
While middle managers proclaimed their support for the Sheerness project, and the company had invested a lot of kroner in working up plans, there is little doubt that new bosses and shareholders were nervous about such a huge investment in a potentially risky venture in Sheerness.
Vestas is not good at PR and had already suffered a bashing over its Isle of Wight plant. It has not properly promoted the fact that the factory was replaced by an R&D plant, and most casual observers think Vestas is no longer on the island.
Vestas has superb plants in Denmark and elsewhere, it is still a huge - and possibly the only - player in the one-stop shop wind turbine industry.
But it is a shame that their undoubted first-rank manufacturing performance will be overshadowed by a feeling that they led Locate inKent and Swale up the garden path, giving them false hope of a jobs bonanza.
Locate in Kent and Peel Ports were tireless in their wooing of Vestas. It seemed to have paid off. But they have been left standing at the altar, disappointed and a little embarrassed. The hopes of potential employees, including the dozens of apprentices being trained for the offshore wind industry, have been dashed.
Of course, there is always the outside possibility of reconciliation - but by then other partners may have come on the Sheerness scene. Let’s hope so.