Violence causes another work stoppage at Brazil's 11.2-GW Belo Monte hydroelectric plant

Work at Brazil's 11.2-GW Belo Monte hydropower complex has been stopped once again -- this time due to vandalism and worker upheaval at one of the project's three construction sites.

The Belo Monte Construction Consortium (CCBM) said earlier this week that seven people suffered minor injuries when they attempted to interrupt collective bargaining talks between the construction union and the plant's operator, Norte Energia.

The workers reportedly set fire to vehicles and mattresses, vandalized offices and canteens, burnt a bus and blocked the Trans-Amazon highway, according to a CCBM statement.

The setback is only the most recent for the Belo Monte project, which was put on hold in October while opponents of the project began occupying one of the work sites.

Still, CCBM says the US$17 billion project will be ready for operation in 2015 as originally planned.

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