Brazil’s environmental regulator Ibama issued a preliminary licence for the 11GW project early last month, subject to conditions covering issues relating to water quality, wildlife, sanitation, resettlement, compensation and rehabilitation of degraded areas.

The project, on the Xingu River in the state of Para, will help the South American country help meet soaring demand for electricity once developed, but it has been mired in controversy with environmental groups claiming the scheme will damage the ecosystem and threaten wildlife in the region.