Earlier this year, following public hearings, the 1087MW project was awarded a preliminary environmental licence by the country’s environmental protection agency Ibama. However, shortly afterward the construction of the project was stopped from proceeding due to a legal block won by agencies concerned with provision for indigenous peoples.

The opponents to the project were concerned over both the impact that construction activity would have as well as the operation of the power plant. It has taken a couple of months to review, but AGU has had that block on construction set aside.

In a statement, AGU said its case to the regional federal court was that the construction activity would not result in irreparable damage and that mitigation measures had been identified in environmental studies. AGU also noted, though, that the context of the court’s decision was the energy shortage in the country.

The project is being built on the Tocantins river in the states of Tocantins and Maranhao, downstream of the Cana Brava and Sao Salvador hydro plants. The project is being built by the Ceste JV, which includes Tractebel Energia, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, Alcoa and Camargo Correa Energia. The JV was awarded the concession for the project in 2002 after an auction by national regulator Aneel.