Italy turns to natural gas and builds import pipelines
Snam (Società Nazionale Metanodotti) has provided integrated natural gas procurement, transportation and sale services in Italy since 1941. It gradually put together an intricate system of natural gas pipelines, covering the whole of Italy, and built important pipelines that today allow the country to import from different areas: Russia, the Netherlands, Algeria, the North Sea and Libya. In 1971, Snam designed and built Italy’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification plant at Panigaglia, in the Gulf of La Spezia.
Snam Rete Gas is born from the unbundling of the transportation business
Snam Rete Gas was incorporated on 15 November 2000 to house all Snam’s Italian transportation, dispatching and regasification activities. The unbundling of these activities was decided pursuant to the Letta Decree (164/2000), which transposed the European Directive on the liberalisation of the European gas market. On 6 December 2001, after the Electricity and Gas Authority issued a resolution establishing the criteria for defining transportation tariffs, Snam Rete Gas was floated on the stock exchange.
Snam enters the storage and distribution business
In 2009, Snam acquired 100% of Stogit, Italy’s largest natural gas storage field operator, and 100% of Italgas, the country’s biggest gas distributor.
This added the other two regulated gas activities in Italy to Snam’s offering: storage and distribution.
The June 2009 transaction turned Snam into the biggest integrated regulated gas activities operator in mainland Europe by regulatory asset base (RAB).
Snam has a new structure and moves onto the European scene
On 1 January 2012, the Company changed its name from Snam Rete Gas to Snam and transferred the gas transportation business to a new company, which inherited the respected Snam Rete Gas name. Snam now wholly owns the four operating companies (Snam Rete Gas, GNL Italia, Stogit and Italgas). The ownership unbundling from eni was completed on 15 October 2012 pursuant to the Prime Ministerial Decree of 25 May 2012.
eni sold around 30% of Snam to CDP.
In 2012, Snam entered into a strategic alliance with Fluxys with a view to facilitating the creation of a two-way gas corridor linking central and northern Europe with the south of the continent.
In a joint venture with the Belgian company, Snam acquired a 31.50% stake in Interconnector UK, the underwater gas pipeline connecting the UK to Belgium, and therefore to the major European gas trading centres. At the same time, the two companies bought 51% of Interconnector Zeebrugge Terminal and 10% of Huberator.