The development of services to facilitate the market

Starting from July 2017, the commercial management of the three businesses regarding transportation, storage and regasification, connected to the Snam Rete Gas, Stogit and GNL Italia, respectively, merged into a single organisation within Snam.

Thanks to the development of the Snam services over the last ten years, the Italian gas market has seen constant growth in the transportation operators, passing from 30 in 2003 to almost 200. Through the new balancing system8 and the new PRISMA platform 9, operators can now make gas exchanges and transportation capacity transactions, respectively, on an intra-day, daily, monthly, quarterly and annual basis, for a maximum of 15 years. Snam is entrusted with balancing the residual or managing the “physiological” portion of unbalancing associated with the normal system operations. To encourage an even greater operational flexibility, in accordance with the Authority resolutions 336/2016/R/gas and 512/2017/R/gas, the Italian gas system introduced the possibility to book monthly and daily transportation capacity at the redelivery points, and related extraction areas, which feed the electric power generation plants. This way of accessing the gas transportation system fits well with the electrical system’s requirements for more flexible conveyance methods to respond promptly and efficiently to the electrical system’s changing operational conditions. Snam’s balancing activities results in the so-called dual price, i.e., they influence the definition of the different imbalanced buying and selling prices. At the end of the day Snam provides gas at a premium to whoever sold more than it brought into the system, or on the contrary, if the operator injected more gas than its customers consumed, it will purchase the excess at a discount.

Since 2015, Snam has played the role of Default Transportation Supplier, i.e., it supplies gas to the selling companies on the distribution networks interconnected to the transportation network and to final underlying end customers connected directly to its network, for which the User of the balancing services, responsible for the related extractions cannot be identified (due to the resolution of the User’s transportation contract, for example). The same service is also carried out for the sales companies and final customers at third-party transporters who explicitly requested it. In the thermal year 2016-2017, this service involved 108 subjects between end customers and sales companies for volumes of approximately 42,743.891 MWh.

8 The new balancing system implemented via EU Regulation 312/2014 came into force on 1 October 2016.

9 PRISMA is an international project involving 37 European gas transmission operators from 16 countries. Its goal is to encourage harmonised service delivery and access rules and to facilitate the creation of a single European natural gas market by offering transportation capacity through a single shared digital platform.

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