Brazilian regulator rejects environmental license for proposed 8,000-MW Sao Luiz do Tapajos hydropower project

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Brazil's Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources, Ibama, has decided not to award an environmental license for the Sao Luiz do Tapajos hydroelectric plant, effectively ending development of the controversial 8,000 MW project.

The federal regulatory agency announced its decision late last week following reports by public prosecutors that the project would destroy traditional lands of the Munduruku Indians near Itaituba in Brazil's northern Para state.

The land, known as "Sawre Muybu", was officially acknowledge by indigenous population authority Funai earlier this year. The designation gives the land protection from potentially invasive developments such as the Sao Luiz do Tapajos hydropower project.

The US$8.6 billion plant was being developed by state-run utility Eletrobras and would have been the second-largest generating station in Brazil after the 11.2-GW Belo Monte complex.

Sao Luiz do Tapajos was one of more than 250 hydroelectric plants and dams publicly opposed by hundreds of members from four Amazonian tribes in May 2015.

A concession auction for the project's development was also previously revoked in September 2014 after Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy determined that the proposal did not meet a number of environmental and social criteria.

Sao Luiz do Tapajos is the largest component of the proposed 12,000-MW Tapajos hydroelectric complex on the Tapajos and Jamanxim rivers in northern Brazil. The complex also is to include the 2,300-MW Jatoba, 528-MW Cachoeira dos Patos, 881-MW Jamanxin and 802-MW Cachoeira do Cai projects.

For more news from Brazil, visit here.

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