Gas routes and energy security
Snam’s international growth aims to consolidate the European infrastructure system facilitating the alignment between the interests of consumers and producers, promoting greater liquidity in the South European gas market also through the development of new routes, and preserving the connection between the United Kingdom and continental Europe.
NEW GAS ROUTES AND SNAM'S ROLE
The reverse flow is the largest infrastructure project realised by Snam in the last 50 years. It marks a watershed in the history of Snam and that of the country because it transforms Italy from a consumer country to a gas transit country, at the heart of the European corridors.
The development of the South-North corridor
Snam is involved in the construction of the two-way connection between Italy and continental Europe, in cooperation with the Belgian operator Fluxys, through the creation of a reverse-flow capacity in the pipelines connecting Italy, via Switzerland, to Germany (Trans Europa Naturgas Pipeline, TENP) and France (GRTgaz network). Snam’s presence (with a 31.5% stake in a joint venture with Fluxys) in Interconnector UK, the operator of the two-way pipeline connecting the United Kingdom and continental Europe, has given this project a further boost.
Narrowing the field down to Italy, the main project along the South-North corridor involves connecting Italy, via Switzerland, to France and Germany. Snam already completed the first phase of the project in 2015, which made the reverse-flow capacity available at the connection point with Switzerland (Gries Pass) 5 million cubic metres per day, equal to approximately 2 billion cubic metres per year. The second phase will allow the expansion in 2018 of the reverse-flow capacity to up to 40 million cubic metres per day, giving a total annual export capacity of 13 billion cubic metres, distributed among the connecting points with Switzerland (Gries Pass) and Austria (Tarvisio).
As the central hub of the European gas networks, Gas Connect Austria makes a significant contribution to the procurement of natural gas in Austria and other countries such as Germany, France, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary.
The development of the West-East corridor
Through the acquisition in 2013 of the French company TIGF (with a 40.5% stake), Snam oversees an important strategically-located energy hub along the route connecting France and the Iberian Peninsula.
Through TIGF, Snam can contribute to the integration of the Spanish market with the French market and, looking ahead, also the markets of other European countries located along the West-East axis.
Snam also controls 84.47% of the Austrian TAG (Trans Austria Gas Pipeline) through which gas from Russia is sent to the Italian border (Tarvisio).
The TAG is the most important gas importation infrastructure for the Italian market and can potentially be used in reverse-flow in the direction of Eastern Europe and southern Germany.
In December 2016 Snam, in a consortium with Allianz, also completed the acquisition from OMV, the main Austrian oil & gas company, of 49% of Gas Connect Austria GmbH (GCA). GCA is the company that manages a network of high-pressure gas pipelines in Austria, which cover approximately 900 km and it is involved in the marketing and supply of transportation capacities to border points and the transportation capacities required by domestic demand for natural gas.
The connection with the Caspian Sea region
In September 2015, Snam signed a memorandum of understanding with Socar, the Azerbaijan state-owned oil & gas company, for the joint evaluation of initiatives aimed at developing the Southern Gas Corridor.
At the end of 2015 Snam became a shareholder in TAP (with a 20% stake purchased from Statoil), the company constructing the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, the pipeline that will enable the gas produced from the Shah Deniz 2 field in Azerbaijan to be transported to Turkey, Greece and Southern Italy.
Storage for the diversification of procurement and the creation of the European gas market
With 9 active fields, Stogit is the major Italian and European operator in the storage of natural gas.
Stogit re-uses exhausted fields for gas storage. In this way, without altering the status of places and prioritising the protection of the area, the gas is conserved in the same security conditions as it was kept in by nature for millions of years.
Snam – with TIGF – also has a presence in the storage segment in France, where it manages 2 gas storage facilities in aquifer reservoirs, with the same safeguards and security for the area as for operations in Italy.