Brazilian environment agency Ibama has approved the construction of the Belo Monte power dam in the Amazon that has been subject to controversy among natives and other conservationists.

The 6km Belo Monte power dam will generate 11,000MW of energy, once it becomes operational in 2015, according to Reuters.

The $17bn project will be monitored by Norte Energia, the consortium that won the auction.

The Norte Energia consortium includes Eletrobras, a state-run utility holding company, Petros and other local firms, which will begin work on the site and clear 2.3km² of forest.