RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian environmental authorities on Tuesday fined the consortium that is building the Jirau hydroelectric dam on the Bolivian border for destroying part of the forest in a nature preserve.
The consortium, headed by France's Suez and comprised of several Brazilian firms, cut down 18.65 hectares (about 47 acres) of Amazon forest without authorization for which it will now have to pay a fine of 475,000 reais ($208,000).
The group, which received the license to begin construction last November, was also fined about $3.35 million for using dynamite to kill 11 tons of fish in nearby waters.
The $5.3 billion Jirau dam will generate 3.3 gigawatts of power when it goes online in 2016.
San Antonio, the other dam that will make up the Madeira hydroelectric complex, will have the capacity to produce 3.15 GW when it begins operating in 2012 and it is slated to cost about $5 billion.
The complex has encountered resistence from Brazilian environmentalists who fear the impact that the two projects will have on the Amazon jungle, and from the Bolivian government, which fears that the dams could inundate part of the neighboring country's national territory. EFE