Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2012 (Revised April 2013)

Colbún and the Future of Chile's Power

by Forest Reinhardt and Shon R. Hiatt


This case is about Colbún, Chile's second largest electricity generator, which is facing significant uncertainty regarding the cost and availability of alternative energy sources. Problems with the contracted supply of natural gas and the volatility of oil prices, coupled with pressure from collective activists, force Colbún to revise its business strategy and its sourcing mix. The case also deals with the pros and cons of various energy sources in view of their perceived environmental impact. The company's CEO, Bernardo Larrain Matte, has to take all these different considerations into account when planning Colbún's future, especially in the light of new opportunities and challenges posed by global climate change. The case analyzes the operations of Colbún to illustrate the complexities associated with conducting business under the influence of global energy markets, political uncertainty, and environmental activism.

Keywords: energy; Energy Industry; chile; environmental protection; Energy Generation; Energy Industry; Alternative Energy Industry; South America; Chile;


Reinhardt, Forest, and Shon R. Hiatt. "Colbún and the Future of Chile's Power ." Harvard Business School Case 713-047, November 2012. (Revised April 2013.)