A federal court in Brazil has reportedly ordered suspension of construction work on the Belo Monte dam until conditions in the project’s preliminary license are met.

Last week the Federal Regional Court of the 1st Region (TRF-1) said it had accepted a request made by public prosecutors of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and suspended the installation license which had authorized the start of construction sites of the Belo Monte Hydroelelctric Dam in 2011.

The Court also ruled that BNDES (Brazilian National Development Bank) should not transfer further resources to Norte Energia, the company responsible for construction of the dam complex, before the 40 conditions of the preliminary license (LP-Licença Prévia) are met. In January of 2011 IBAMA granted a partial installation license (LI-Licença de Instalação) that permitted the start of construction solely for the construction sites. In a statement, MPF said the court action was filed against this partial installation license, because it had been given without consideration of the constraints issued by IBAMA.

Work on the Belo Monte dam has been halted on several occasions as opponents to the scheme launched legal proceedings. The project developers are expected to prepare an appeal against the latest suspension.