Buying MacGen: smart power play or short circuit?

AGL and ERM Power will be encouraged to put their best bids on the table for electricity generator MacGen, but a struggling aluminium sector and falling electricity demand have raised questions about the generator's value.

One of the more unusual bidding contests comes to something of a head this week with the Wednesday deadline on offers for the New South Wales government electricity generator, Macquarie Generation.

There are several layers of novelty and complexity to the auction process, not least that the process pits an $8.5 billion industry heavyweight in AGL up against a $600 million flyweight in ERM Power.

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