Bidding for the 11GW project – to be built on the Xingu River – was halted on several occasions, until development of the project was awarded to Norte Energia, led by the state-owned Companhia Hidro Eletrica do Sao Francisco, following a legal appeal by the government.

The country’s environmental regulator, Ibama, issued a preliminary licence for the project on the Xingu River in February this year, subject to conditions covering issues relating to water quality, wildlife, sanitation, resettlement, compensation and rehabilitation of degraded areas.

The project, to be located in the state of Para, will help Brazil meet soaring demand for electricity once developed with an installed capacity of 11,233.1MW.

The project has faced fierce opposition from environmental groups concerned about negative impacts on the ecosystem and wildlife in the region.