The Jirau plant is located in the Amazon basin on the Madeira river in Rondônia state.

France-based energy company GDF Suez owns 60% stake in the plant, having recently purchased the 10% stake previously owned by civil contractor Camargo Correa.

Approval was granted after the project was found to comply with the needs of national heritage institute Iphan and indigenous foundation Funai.

Ibama said in a release, "The license outlines 32 specific conditions and stipulates the adherence of environmental programs related to the construction and operational phases."

Jirau, a part of the 6.45GW Madeira river hydroelectric complex, is expected to commence production in January 2013 and achieve full capacity production from all of its 44 bulb turbines by March 2015.

The license stipulates that the plant should not exceed 518km² in area and is to be filled in three stages.