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Brazil court suspends Belo Monte dam operating license over sanitation

(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)