Infrastructure security

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During the year and in the transportation sector alone, 99 meetings were held with local administrations and associations to illustrate works projects. Eight agreements were concluded with these associations regarding easements.

During the design of the network, Snam takes into account aspects related to transportation and infrastructure security, the technical and economic feasibility of the works and their environmental impact. In addition, great importance is also attributed to the inclusion of the work in its context and in complying with landscape equilibrium with the visual and natural impact kept to a minimum.

Advanced procedures and technologies were adopted in the realisation of the works which, subject to technical and economic feasibility, minimise the impact on the environment as far as possible. Where possible, as an alternative to traditional excavation techniques, Snam uses suitable advanced techniques such as, for example, trenchless techniques, for the construction of tunnels or micro-tunnels, thereby also reducing the use of site equipment and the extent of the work area.

Following the design and installation phase, Snam guarantees 360° monitoring of its assets, engaging in the research and development of technologies that allow complete control of the infrastructures. In order to detect potentially critical situations in the network and act promptly in the case of unforeseen external phenomena, the pipelines are inspected regularly by specialist personnel on foot, in vehicles and by helicopter. The same attention is also devoted to connection lines between storage facilities (compression and treatment) and the related auxiliary systems.

The Company relies on advanced technologies capable of exponentially improving the quality and quantity of checks on all its assets. The use of drones and satellites for checking networks and systems is evidence of the Snam’s commitment to making its infrastructures increasingly more secure and efficient: with this in mind, in 2019, Snam launched the first trial of a long-distance civil flight of a remote-control operated drone for monitoring the network. Snam also uses smart pigs to check and inspect the pipelines; these are smart devices equipped with sensors which, travelling inside the pipelines, can detect the presence of any defects or irregularities in the material or the minimal movement of the pipes. Geological inspections were also conducted and any land slippage at specific points of the route kept in check with the help of real time data collection systems that use a specific remote detection method, interferometric satellite SAR and CGPS stations.

Snam continuously monitors and checks the storage facilities through detection systems that automatically activate the security system as needed. The most frequently used systems are: explosive mixture detectors, fire detectors, smoke detectors, high or low pressure switches, pressure transmitters, fuse plug systems and heat sensitive cables, sound-level meters for detecting gas leaks and extinguisher systems.

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Monitoring and inspecting the network





network inspected using smart pigs (km)




network inspected by helicopter (km)




network subject to geological inspection (km)




The dispatching centre

Dispatching involves the monitoring and remote control of transportation, receiving data from around 3,800 plants located throughout Italy, 1,600 of which are remotely controlled.

With the use of specific software applications, the information collected allows, even on the basis of historic consumption data and climate condition forecasts, the formulation of short-term forecasts for redelivery demand and the simulation and optimisation of gas flows in the network, guaranteeing the best arrangement of the compression systems to reduce their consumption and curb emission levels.

Network activities and the physical balancing of the system are constantly guaranteed by an operating room functioning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, based on the programming defined by customers and in conjunction with the operators of foreign infrastructures connected to the Italian network, ensures the correct movement of the gas from the injection points to the withdrawal points.

The dispatching centre remotely controls over 9 storage facilities, planning and carrying out surface treatment, well area and compression activities, guaranteeing secure execution in any operating conditions, routine or abnormal.

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