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Court denies permit for Brazil's 6,100-MW Sao Luiz do Tapajos hydroelectric plant

A Brazilian federal court has blocked an environmental license for the country's 6,100-MW Sao Luiz do Tapajos hydropower project.

Sao Luiz do Tapajos, the largest in the planned 10,600-MW Tapajos hydroelectric complex, was denied licensing after Judge Jose Airton de Aguiar Portela ruled the project did not provide an adequate appraisal of environmental impacts.

The ruling also said Sao Luiz do Tapajos fails to respect concerns of indigenous tribes in Brazil's Amazonian north, where more than 10,000 could be affected by the complex.

"The government cannot disregard laws that it itself implemented, irrespective of the urgency of the country's energy demands," Aguiar said in a statement this past week.

Brazil's Federal Prosecutor's Office (MPF) says state-owned power company Eletrobras and its subsidiary, Eletronorte, will be subject to a daily fine of about US$47,700 if the ruling is ignored.

The Tapajos complex also includes the 2,300-MW Jatoba, 528-MW Cachoeira dos Patos, 881-MW Jamanxin and 802-MW Cachoeira do Cai -- all of which are planned for the Tapajos River in the state of Para.

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