Brazil-based Vale has agreed to purchase a $1.5bn stake in the highly controversial Belo Monte dam project in the Amazon.

Vale has announced that it plans to purchase about 9% stake in Norte Energia, a consortium that is constructing the Belo Monte.

The Belo Monte project is held by the Brazil’s Bertin Group.

The construction of the Belo Monte dam has been resisted by the environmental groups for long time due to the concerns over the anticipated impacts on the region.

Brazil new president, Dilma Rousseff said the dam must be built to meet the rising nation’s power needs.

Once competed, the $11bn worth Belo Monte hydro electric dam will provide energy sufficient to power 23 million homes.