Chile's Supreme Court has given the go-ahead for electric utility Endesa Chile's Punta Alcalde coal-fired power plant, rejecting an environmental challenge, the tribunal said on its Web site.

In a split ruling, the high court gave the green light for the plant in northern Chile under condition that it be subjected to permanent environmental monitoring.

It said Friday that its ruling protected "the rights of the community that could eventually be affected by the construction and operation of the project."

The Punta Alcalde project had been held up due to appeals filed by local communities in an area of the Atacama region located 700 kilometers (435 miles) from Santiago.

The $1.4 billion project includes construction of a 740 MW thermoelectric plant and a port.

The company argued that it had taken all steps to comply with Chilean environmental law and that Punta Alcalde would cause no harm to farmers in the nearby Huasco valley. EFE