Header Background

Development and quality of services

Snam is committed to supplying the gas that businesses and communities need on a daily basis and to safely managing all activities in the gas system, making available the operational capacity needed to satisfy market demands and granting access to all those who request it, under competitive conditions. Against this background, service security, continuity and quality are intrinsically linked and represent a value.

Snam’s new role: from operator to market facilitator

Transportation capacity that allows for bi-directional flows between neighbouring States and shared rules for an integrated market: these are the conditions needed to meet the objective of the third European directive, i.e. the formation of a European gas market that is liquid, flexible and secure.

If a single European market is created, Snam aims to play an active role within it, not only as an infrastructure operator but also to support and encourage the development of the market itself.

Although Snam has always made a significant contribution to strengthening the transportation network (investing €8 billion since 2001), the entry into force of forward products for gas marketing in 2013 has led to a new phase for the Italian market, where the supply and demand relationship is prompting operators to compete.

Growing numbers of operators in Italy (currently there are 108 customers (shippers) and 20 traders), managing numerous gas trades and buying transportation capacity not just annually and over several years but also on more limited timescales of as little as a day, have led Snam to adjust its own commercial offering, making daily use of the PRISMA platform according to its needs. This enables customers to buy transportation capacity in a single purchase from all the transmission operators throughout Europe, without having to enter into contracts with each State crossed, well in advance of the European deadlines.

Snam Rete Gas meets deadlines early with PRISMA

In 2013 the collaboration between Snam Rete Gas and the PRISMA platform continued. A total of 22 European gas transporters from eight countries are involved in this international project, which offers transportation capacity via a single shared platform and aims to encourage the harmonisation of rules, access and the provision of services and facilitate the creation of a single European natural gas market.

On 1 April 2013, Snam launched the sale of primary transportation capacity from the interconnected import/export points at Tarvisio, Gorizia and Gries Pass using the new PRISMA European Capacity Platform. This represents voluntary early implementation of the European Network Code that will enter into force in 2015.

Service quality

In 2013, the number of active users of the transportation service increased substantially, from 88 to 108 (+20%). In the same year, 35 connection contracts were stipulated for the creation of new delivery/redelivery points.


Number of users (Line chart)

More than 375 million cubic metres of transportation capacity was made available to Snam Rete Gas customers on average during the year. This was provided at the network entry points and included the available capacity relating to the new entry point at Livorno. Access to the service was guaranteed for all the operators.

The process for defining all transportation capacities has been ISO 9001-certified since May 2011. This certification, which was renewed in 2013, shows Snam Rete Gas’s continual commitment to developing proprietary software for modelling the network and solving the fluid-dynamics equations that regulate physical gas flows.

Pursuant to the Decree of the Ministry of Economic Development of 27 February 2013, Snam Rete Gas began drawing up the ten-year development plan for its natural gas transportation network on 1 September 2013. The drafting process will end with the submission of the development plan to the Ministry of Economic Development, the Electricity and Gas Authority and the regional authorities.

Meanwhile, thanks to new expansion work carried out by Stogit, storage capacity was boosted by 0.7 billion cubic metres compared with the previous year, from 10.7 billion in 2012 to 11.4 billion in 2013 (15.9 billion including strategic storage). Of this capacity, 9.9 billion cubic metres was allocated in 2013.

The Network Codes include a list of indicators for monitoring the quality of service provided by the companies. Customers are automatically compensated in the event of non-compliance with service quality standards in relation to some indicators concerning specific commercial quality levels.

The performance of Snam Group companies remained strong in 2013 with regard to these indicators: there was 99,8%% compliance with standards in distribution and the compliance with standards in transportation and storage have been carried out.

Effective as at 1 December 2011, the Electricity and Gas Authority has entrusted Snam Rete Gas, as Italy’s biggest transportation company, with the role of Balancing Supervisor as part of the regulation of transportation, dispatching and storage services. On 15 November 2013, the Authority launched a second balancing session in addition to the first, enabling Snam Rete Gas to find resources in advance to reduce the scale of the predicted imbalance in the system. More details can be found in the Annual Report.

In 2013, Snam Rete Gas collaborated with the Energy Market Operator to launch the natural gas forward market, completing the process that began in 2011 when the Ministry of Economic Development issued Legislative Decree 93 to implement the EU Third Energy Package for the development of physical and financial energy forward markets. From September, operators have been able to trade gas lots with weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual delivery periods, longer than those available on the market. Delivery of the quantity traded and the relative recognition in the gas balance of each user involved in the trade takes place via registration of transactions on the VEP (Virtual Exchange Point) managed by Snam Rete Gas.

The new market can provide operators with transparent pricing signals and the opportunity for medium- and long-term hedging, helping them, as is already the case across the border, to supply gas across a broad time horizon.

Shipper’s Day

In January 2013, Snam Rete Gas held a Shipper’s Day event to present its strategies, the main developments in national and European legislation and the effects of these on commercial processes involving users. More than 130 people attended the event, representing about 80 companies.

The certification plan: Snam Rete Gas reaches a new milestone

In October 2013, Snam Rete Gas obtained certification of the Quality Management System, implemented pursuant to standard UNI-EN-ISO 9001:2008, for its gas process systems (planning, development and centralised management of process and remote-control systems for the dispatching and metering of natural gas in the transportation network).

This achievement was the result of corporate policy directed towards providing an increasing range of high-quality services. The new certification stands alongside the certification already obtained by the Dispatching and Metering departments, creating an outstanding cluster of excellence within the General Operations department of Snam Rete Gas.

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Contracted transportation capacity/Available transportation capacity (entry points connected with foreign countries) (%)



Compliance with time frame for issue of connection offer (%)



Compliance with execution times of services subject to specific trading quality standards (%)



Service interruptions with sufficient notice (%)






Compliance with maximum time for accepting monthly delivery programming proposals (%)



Compliance with maximum period of interruption/reduction in the terminal’s capacity for maintenance operations (%)






Contracted storage capacity/Available storage capacity (%)



Compliance with execution times of services subject to specific trading quality standards (%)



Compliance with time for the notification of users of revised capacity conferred due to transfers (%)



Connecting flow lines subject to surveillance (%)



Total capacity not available due to service interruptions/reductions (%)






Compliance with maximum time set for execution of services subject to specific trading quality standards (%)



Compliance with appointment times agreed with customer (%)



Compliance with standard set for meter reading attempts (%)



High- and medium-pressure networks inspected (%)



Low-pressure network inspected (%)



Compliance with maximum time for arrival at location in response to emergency call-out (%)



Perceived quality GRI - G4: 27, PR5

With a view to constant improvement, our service quality monitoring directly involves customers in a continuing and increasingly extensive way.

The customer satisfaction survey is conducted every year for storage activities, measuring users’ satisfaction levels concerning the clarity of the storage code, commercial management and the availability and efficiency of IT services. Such surveys also gather suggestions from users aimed at improving the areas covered in the questionnaire. The participation rate for the 2013 survey was 53%, down compared with approximately 68% in the previous year. Despite this, the ratings, expressed on a scale from 0 to 10 and broken down into the respective macro areas of reference, showed substantial improvement in how the service we offer is perceived.


Storage activities: Responses received by thermal year (Bar chart)


Average results by thermal year (no) (Bar chart)

Snam Rete Gas conducted its second transportation customer satisfaction survey in 2013. Customers were asked for their opinions on the ease-of-use and comprehensiveness of the Company website and were invited to assess the quality of new services, processes and IT portals provided for the transportation and balancing activities, including by comparison with those provided by other European transporters.

The survey of 150 respondents, which had a participation rate of more than 90% (15% more respondents than in the previous version), indicated a more than satisfactory perception of the services offered, with interesting signs of improvement, subdivided by macro area of reference.


Transportat ion activities: participation in customer satisfation survey (Bar chart)


Customer assessment of CS initiative (Pie chart)

More than 80% of the respondents said they were very satisfied with the stakeholder engagement practices implemented by Snam Rete Gas to boost positive dialogue with its stakeholders.

During the annual Shipper’s Days, at which the Company shares its future development plans with shippers, the results of the customer satisfaction surveys are presented in detail, as are the improvement plans identified to meet the requirements of users.

Simplifying commercial processes

In a regulated market, not only is it important to be transparent, impartial and fair and to safeguard free competition in liberalised supply chain activities, it is also possible and advisable to improve service efficiency and simplify management of the activities, always in accordance with regulations, creating value for users and therefore, indirectly, for end users in the gas system.

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