"Brazil Approves Building Of $17 Billion Amazon Power Dam"

"Brazil's environment agency approved on Wednesday the start-up of the Belo Monte power dam, a controversial $17 billion project in the Amazon that has drawn criticism from native Indians and conservationists.

The agency, Ibama, issued licenses to the consortium in charge of Belo Monte to start the construction site and to clear 238.1 hectares (588 acres) of forest land, about the size of Monaco.

The government has said the 11,000-megawatt project, due to start producing electricity in 2015, is crucial to provide power to Brazil's fast-growing economy."

Elzio Barreto and Carolina Marcondes report for Reuters January 28, 2011.

Source: Reuters, 01/28/2011