Snam’s role in the Italian gas system
As an integrated operator in the natural gas infrastructure system, Snam is active in the following business segments:
Trasportation and Dispatching
Snam Rete Gas is the leading Italian natural gas transportation and dispatching operator, and owns almost all of the transportation infrastructure in Italy, with 32,534 km of high- and medium-pressure gas pipelines (approximately 94% of the entire transportation system).
Snam Rete Gas manages the gas pipeline network via 8 districts, 48 maintenance centres throughout Italy, 11 compression stations and a new dispatching unit which has been extensively renovated in terms of structure and technology.
The gas from abroad is injected into the national network via entry points where the network joins up with the import methane pipelines (Tarvisio, Gorizia, Gries Pass, Mazara del Vallo and Gela) and with the LNG regasification terminals (Panigaglia, Cavarzere and Livorno). Once it has been imported or regasified, the gas is transported to the local distribution networks, the regional network redelivery points or large end users such as thermoelectric power stations or manufacturing plants.
Snam Rete Gas awards transportation capacity to applicant shippers. The service access conditions are contained in the Network Code, which is updated based on criteria laid down by the Electricity and Gas Authority.
- 8 national network entry points for gas coming from abroad, located at connection points with the import pipelines (five entry points) and the LNG regasification terminals (three entry points)
- 67.25 billion m3 natural gas injected into the national transportation network
- 32,534 km of pipeline network in operation at 31 December 2015
- 876.5 MW installed power at the stations
The terminal at Panigaglia (La Spezia), which is owned by the subsidiary GNL Italia, was the first regasification plant built in Italy. It has a daily regasification capacity of 17,500 cubic metres of LNG, and can therefore, at maximum operating capacity, inject 3.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas into the transportation network every year.
The process for the extraction of natural gas from the deposits, its liquefaction for transportation by ship and subsequent regasification for use by the users, forms the ‘LNG chain’. The process begins in the country of the exporter, where the natural gas is brought to a liquid state by cooling it to -160°C and subsequently loaded onto tankers for shipping to the LNG regasification terminal. At the regasification terminal, the LNG is unloaded, then heated and returned to a gaseous state before being injected into the natural gas transportation network. The regasification service includes unloading the LNG from the vessel and operating storage, i.e. the storage time required for vaporising the LNG, regasifying it and injecting it into the national network.
- 17,500 cubic metres of LNG maximum daily regasification capacity of the Panigaglia terminal
- 3.5 billion m3 maximum volume of natural gas that can be injected into the transportation network each year
Stogit is the major storage operator in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, with 11.5 billion cubic metres of available capacity (approximately 95% of the available space throughout Italy) and 4.5 billion cubic metres of strategic storage space.
The natural gas storage business in Italy is carried out under a concession regime and it serves to offset the various demands of gas consumption and supply. In fact, procurement is broadly consistent throughout the year, while gas demand is characterised by high seasonal variability, with demand significantly higher in the winter than the summer. Storage also ensures that quantities of strategic gas are available to compensate for any lack of or reduction in non-EU supply or crises in the gas system. The storage business makes use of integrated infrastructure comprising deposits, wells, gas treatment plants, compression stations and the operational dispatching system. Stogit has nine storage concessions located in Lombardy (five), Emilia-Romagna (three) and Abruzzo (one).
- 16.0 billion m3 total storage capacity (including strategic storage) at 31 December 2015
- 19.58 billion m3 gas moved through the storage system
- 9 number of operating concessions
Italgas is the leading Italian natural gas distributor, with 1,472 municipal concessions, 56,717 km of medium- and low-pressure network and 6.526 million active meters at redelivery points (over 30% of the Italian market). The natural gas distribution business operates on a concession regime through the conferral of this service by local public entities; it consists of the service of gas distribution through local transportation networks from delivery points at the metering and reduction stations (city gates) to the gas distribution network redelivery points at the end users (households, businesses, etc.). The gas distribution service is carried out for sales companies authorised to market to end users by means of the transportation of the gas through city networks. Italgas undertakes natural gas distribution activities by making use of an integrated system of infrastructure, comprising stations for withdrawing gas from the transportation network, pressure reduction plants, the local transportation and distribution network, user derivation plants and redelivery points comprising technical equipment featuring meters at the end users.
- 1,472 distribution concessions at 31 December 2015
- 56,717 km of network in operation at 31 December 2015
- 6.526 million active meters at 31 December 2015