Ibama has issued a licence for the construction of the 3300MW Jirau project in west Brazil, close to the border region with Bolivia. The Government formally granted a 30-year concession for the project to a Suez-led consortium in August. Jirau is to commence operations from 2013.

The project is part of the 6450MW Madeira scheme in Rondonia state, which includes the Santo Antonio project also on the river Madeira. The second project will have a capacity of 3150MW and is being built by a joint venture led by Furnas and Odebrecht. The auction of the concession contracts for the transmission link has been rescheduled to later this month.

Separately, Ibama has also issued an operating licence for the Sao Salvador project, under construction on the Tocantins river, between the states of Tocantins and Goias, in north Brazil.

Suez is also developing that project, which will have an installed capacity of 241MW. The plant is due to be operational from 2011. Ibama said the licence to commence operations was valid for four years.