The Government and the Troika have agreed on the sale of State assets worth up to €3bn.

The Bord Gáis Energy business will be sold, however this will not include its gas transmission or distribution systems or the two gas interconnectors.

The Government will also be selling some of ESB's "non-strategic" power generation capacity.

It has decided not to go ahead with the sale of a minority stake in ESB, as had previously been signalled.

The sale of some of forestry body Coillte's assets will be considered, though not the sale of land.

A spokesperson for Coillte said that any sale of company assets "is clearly a matter for the shareholder and the company is focused on getting on with business."

The State will also be selling its remaining 25% shareholding in Aer Lingus if the share price rises.

It said the Aer Lingus move would take place only when market conditions were right and at an acceptable price to Government.

Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Brendan Howlin said it had been agreed that one-third of any of the proceeds could be used for re-investment in the economy.

There will be no "fire sales" the Government insisted, adding that important transmission and distribution infrastructure will stay in State ownership.

Mr Howlin said that state assets will only be sold when "fair and good prices" can be obtained for them on behalf of the taxpayer.

In a statement, Bord Gáis said it would now engage with the Government and other relevant parties to ensure that the sale of its energy business would generate the maximum value for the State.

Opposition criticises sale plans in the Dáil

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he does not envisage that the sale of State assets will happen this year, but the process could begin in 2013.

Mr Kenny was responding to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams in the Dáil this morning.

Mr Adams said there was something wrong when the Government was endeavouring to achieve a sale of State assets worth €3bn when it was going to pay €3.1bn to banks next month.

The Taoiseach repeated that agreement had been reached to use one third of the proceeds of the asset sale on job creation, an outcome that was welcomed by Independent TD Shane Ross.

However, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has accused the Taoiseach of "misleading" people about the sale of State assets.

Mr Martin said there was no mention of the sale of either €2bn or €5bn worth of State assets in the original Memorandum of Understanding with the Troika.

He said the issue was included on foot of Fine Gael party policy and suggested the agreement with the Troika was being mentioned "to appease Labour backbenchers".

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins described the proposed sale as "treachery".

A number of opposition TDs asked when the Dáil would debate the sale or the legislation necessary to implement it.

The Taoiseach said the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources would bring proposals on exactly what should be sold to Cabinet by the end of March.

ICTU General Secretary David Begg said he is relieved that the Government is not planning the wholesale sell-off of State assets as had been previously mooted.

However, Mr Begg said he was worried about the sale of Bord Gáis, as energy security is becoming a much more strategic issue for the country.