The country’s environmental regulator, Ibama, issued a preliminary licence for the project on the Xingu River last month, 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, but it has been mired in controversy with environmental groups claiming the scheme will damage the ecosystem and threaten wildlife in the region.

Earlier this month is was reported that the cost of building the project have increased from previous estimates to $2B because of additional environmental protection issues.