The balancing of the system

Thanks to the development of the Snam services over the last fifteen years, the Italian gas market has seen a constant growth in the transportation operators, from 30 in 2003 to around 210 in 2019, with 150 shippers.
In 2019, 123 connection contracts were signed for the construction of new delivery/redelivery points (of which 26 were for biomethane injection and 61 for the CNG Service Areas) or the upgrading of existing points.

One of the main activities of the Control Room, working 24/7 to oversee the Italian gas system, is the balancing of the system which has a dual purpose: physical and commercial.
The physical balancing of the system consists of the set of operations through which the Dispatching department of Snam controls flow parameters (capacity and pressure) in real time in order to ensure that gas can move safely and efficiently from the injection points to the withdrawal points all the time.
The commercial balancing on the other hand consists of the activities required to correctly schedule, account for and allocate the transported gas, as well as the fee system that encourages users to maintain a balance between the volumes they inject and withdraw from the network.

In 2019, the integration process through which the commercial management activities of the three businesses – transportation, storage and regasification – merged into a single organisation continued, allowing the optimisation of the processes within Snam.

The creation of a single Commercial Control Room for the management of daily gas deliveries and movements, the balancing of the network (activities that define Snam’s responsibilities to the market), the integration of the know-how of the three businesses managed by Snam, has led to an improvement in performance in this area.

In detail, Snam daily receives the nominations of the transportation and storage capacities from its customers. In confirming these requests, the Control Room discharges, among other things, the specific disclosure obligations set out by the Balancing Network Code (EU Regulation 312/2014), such as the hourly publication on the Snam website of the information concerning the balancing status of the system, as well as the publication, twice a day and for every shipper, of information on the withdrawals measured during the gas day. The new commercial Control Room pursues and facilitates the goal of improving the quality of service provided to customers, also reducing management times. In this way, customers which, according to the balancing regime in the Balancing Network Code are responsible for the daily balancing of their positions, receive adequate information to enable the evaluation of their status and potentially undertake actions aimed at correcting their imbalances.

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