Colbun and the Future of Chile’s Power

Case Solution

Forest L. Reinhardt, Shon R. Hiatt
Harvard Business School ()

In this case, it is Colbún, Chile’s second largest electricity producer, which faces significant uncertainties about costs and the availability of alternative energy sources. Problems with the contractual supply of natural gas and volatility in oil prices, coupled with pressure from collective activists, are forcing Colbún to review its business strategy and acquisition mix. The case also looks at the pros and cons of different energy sources in terms of their perceived environmental impact. The company’s CEO, Bernardo Larrain Matte, must take all of these various considerations into account when planning for Colbun’s future, especially given the new opportunities and challenges that global climate change brings. The case looks at Colbun’s business operations to illustrate the complexities associated with doing business under the influence of global energy markets, political uncertainty and environmental activism.

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