Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2011 (Revised October 2012)

Sykué Bioenergya

by Shon R. Hiatt


Sykué Bioenergya (Sykué) was formed in April 2006 with the goal of building four 30 megawatt (MW) bioelectricity power plants in Brazil's Bahia province, 1,500 kilometers north of Sao Paulo. Bahia's savannah-like conditions were perfect for growing elephant grass, a biomass with substantial energy-generating potential. In November 2010 the first plant was online and Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) had been signed for 27 MW of the 30 MW capacity. Despite this accomplishment, however, the four years between conception and implementation were littered with management setbacks, including lack of capital, an abundance of debt, and increased skepticism among prospective investors and clients about the potential of the project. This case is taught in the HBS executive education Global Agribusiness and Energy executive education seminars. The case is also appropriate for the organizational congruence module of the first-year MBA course Leadership and Organizational Behavior, and second-year MBA electives Innovation Management and Leading Energy Businesses.

Keywords: Innovation and Management; Entrepreneurship; Energy Industry; Brazil;


Hiatt, Shon R. "Sykué Bioenergya." Harvard Business School Case 412-062, September 2011. (Revised October 2012.)