(Adds Norte Energia comment, context)
SAO PAULO, April 7 (Reuters) - A federal court in Brazil suspended the operating license of the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on environmental grounds, according to a statement late on Thursday from federal prosecutors in the state of Pará.
The dam’s operating consortium Norte Energia SA, led by state-controlled energy group Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA , or Eletrobras, must complete basic sanitation works in the city of Altamira before filling the dam’s reservoir, the prosecutors said.
The sanitation work was a condition for Brazil environmental agency Ibama licensing the 11,233-megawatt Belo Monte dam, which has drawn controversy for its impact on the native communities along a tributary of the Amazon river.
Norte Energia SA said it has yet to be informed of the court’s ruling.
Budgeted at 30 billion reais ($9.6 billion), Belo Monte will be one of the largest hydropower plants in the world when construction is completed in 2019.
Ten out of Belo Monte’s 24 turbines are already operating.
$1 = 3.1286 reais Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli