A Brazilian Federal judge has overturned a recent decision by a lower court to suspend construction at the Belo Monte dam project, stating that there is no need for all environmental conditions to be met before construction starts on the 11.2GW project.

A federal court in Para state, under judge Ronaldo Desterro, had ordered building work to be frozen at the end of February until all required environmental criteria had been met, including contingency plans for river transportation.

Yesterday, however, Judge Olindo Menezes of a higher federal court overturned the suspension, and work can again resume on the $17B project.

Belo Monte, to be located on the Xingu River, would help Brazil meet soaring demand for electricity once developed. It has however faced fierce opposition from environmental groups concerned about negative impacts on the ecosystem and wildlife in the region.

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