Brazil's Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) has granted an operating license for the 3,750-MW Jirau hydroelectric project, HydroWorld.com has learned.
The Jirau hydropower plant -- part of the Madeira River complex that also includes the 3,150-MW Santo Antonio project -- is located in Brazil's Rondonia state and is scheduled for startup in January 2013.
The IBAMA permit signifies that Jirau satisfies the demands of Iphan, Brazil's national heritage institute, and Funai, which is an indigenous foundation.
IBAMA says the license "outlines 32 specific conditions and stipulates the adherence of environmental programs related to the construction and operational phases."
As per the license, the reservoir cannot exceed 518 square kilometers in area and must be filled in three stages to preserve water quality and allow for the safe displacement of wildlife.
HydroWorld.com reported earlier this month that French company GDF Suez had increased its stake in the Jirau plant to 60% by purchasing a share previously owned by civil contractor Camargo Correa.