Environmentalists oppose the dam as they think it will dramatically change the nearby ecosystem by flooding hundreds of thousands of hectares. They are of the view that the government has not provided enough safeguards to prevent ecological damage.

A dispute between GDF Suez and Odebrecht S.A. over the location of Jirau threatened to spark lawsuits that will have delayed the project, but the companies later agreed to settle out of court.

GDF Suez is the lead partner in a consortium developing Jirau that also includes Brazilian state companies Eletrosul Centrais Eletricas S.A, Chesf and construction company Camargo Correa S.A.