Snam follows its own model of sustainable growth, aiming to create value using the three key tools of investments, operational and financial efficiency and return for shareholders. This model is strictly in line with the fundamental aims of community energy policy: security of supply, competition, sustainability and integration of the internal market.
Since the 1960s, Western Europe has capitalised on the growing supply of natural gas from deposits beyond the continent, building a dense network of gas pipelines that currently extends over more than 190,000 km in total, with other gas pipelines close to completion or planned. The interconnected European system, which is constantly expanding, stretches from the North Sea and the Baltic to the Mediterranean, and from the Atlantic to Eastern Europe and Siberia, giving access to reserves from a range of extraction areas, diversifying transportation pathways and enabling quantitative international trade.
In this context, broadening and modernising the gas system is a vital factor in Snam’s business development and is also a strategic opportunity for Italy as a whole. Investments in infrastructure, the development of reverse-flow technology and international partnership agreements will help to create an interconnected, flexible European network, boosting cross-border trade and giving all consumers true freedom to choose their providers, with more competitive prices and higher service quality.
THE EUROPEAN GAS SYSTEM
INVESTMENTS IN ITALY
Italy, which lies at the intersection of gas flows from North Africa, the Middle East, northern Europe and Russia, can transform itself from a consumer country to a transit country due to its geographical position and the development of transportation infrastructure and reverse-flow technology, creating the conditions needed to perform the strategic role of gas interconnection in Mediterranean Europe.
Snam made investments of €1.3 billion in 2012.
INVESTMENTS BY BUSINESS SEGMENT (%)
The strategic partnership with Fluxys, forged in early 2012 with the aim of further integrating the European gas market, has been reinforced with a Memorandum of Understanding for the development and sale of bi-directional flow capacity on the south-north axis between Italy and the United Kingdom.
In 2012, to this end, Snam and Fluxys completed joint transactions to purchase the equity interests held respectively by Eni and E.ON in Interconnector (UK), which owns and operates the undersea pipeline linking the UK (Bacton) with Belgium (Zeebrugge), and the equity interests still held by Eni in the Interconnector Zeebrugge Terminal, which includes the terminal and compression stations that link the Interconnector gas pipeline to the gas transportation system in Belgium, and Huberator, which operates hub services in Belgium.
At the end of December 2012, Snam Rete Gas then signed up in Leipzig to the shareholder structure of PRISMA – European Capacity Platform, an international project that will allow 19 European operators active in gas transportation in seven countries (Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Holland) to provide transportation capacity via a single, shared IT platform from April 2013.
Plans for development in France
The mixture of industrial expertise and financial capacity of the consortium led by Snam (45% share), in which the Singapore sovereign fund and Electricitè de France also have interests, was selected for exclusive negotiations in Total’s call for tenders to acquire TIGF (Transport et Infrastructure Gaz France), the second-biggest operator on the French gas network.
When it is finalised, this transaction, which entered the exclusive negotiation phase in February 2013, commits Snam to managing and developing a company with 500 employees, 5,000 km of gas pipelines (13% of gas transportation in France) and two major storage sites (22% of French storage capacity) in the south-west of the country, at the heart of the European gas market.