The National Development Finance Agency is to begin a procurement process for infrastructure projects with a combined value of around €1 billion.

The agency is part of the National Treasury Management Agency, which manages the national debt and runs NAMA.

The projects include 1,500 social housing units at a cost of €300m, and €200m worth of investment in third level institutions.

A €150m investment in community nursing units and healthcare, and €150m for courthouses and justice projects are also included.

The agency will also provide financial advice to the Grangegorman Development Agency and Department of Education on a €150m student accommodation project at the proposed Grangegorman campus for Dublin Institute of Technology.

The NDFA said it is looking to attract interest from both domestic and international investors and contracts for the various projects.

The agency said it has been actively promoting the Irish Public-Private Partnership market with the aim of attracting interest from both domestic and international investors.

It has already bought or advised on projects with a value of €1.8 billion over the last 18 months. These include ten schools, seven courthouses, 14 primary care health centres and three major road projects - the M11 Gorey, M25 Cork and N17 Galway-Oranmore.

"Ireland is now firmly back on the radar of major international investors and their huge appetite for Irish infrastructure projects augurs well for our pipeline," commented NDFA Director Brian Murphy.

Mr Murphy said this is good news for Irish taxpayers as it will make it easier to deliver projects that will bring real benefits to Ireland and to fund these projects on very attractive terms.

"We are very excited about the projects in our pipeline and we look forward to delivering high-quality social housing units, educational buildings, healthcare and courthouses over the coming years. These projects will help to address the serious infrastructure deficit which the country faces in these sectors," he added.

He also said that costs will be monitored "stringently" as potential capacity constraints arise in the construction industry.

"These potential constraints are another positive sign of Ireland’s strong economic recovery but we are confident we can address them effectively," he said.