Snam is responding with an increase in activities and investments aimed at achieving the decarbonisation goals. Investments are continuing in Snamtec, the programme that combines all activities in the field of energy efficiency, technological innovation and energy transition which, in 2019, rose to €1.4 billion. Specifically, Snam plans to double investments in the new businesses for energy transition to at least €400 million, compared with the figure of €200 million in the previous plan.
The most significant increase involves the sector of biomethane from organic waste, agricultural and agro-industrial waste, which will play a strategic role in the journey to decarbonisation, especially in the sector of sustainable mobility. Following the Italian government’s decision to incentivise 1.1 billion cubic metres of biomethane for mobility, and the long-term potential of up to 12 billion cubic metres of biomethane by 2040 identified in the Snam-Terna scenarios, there is now a significant interest in this business. Snam aims to support and accelerate the development of the Italian market also by investing, through its subsidiaries, in infrastructure and in the construction of plants.
Snam has plans to invest around €250 million compared with the €100 million in the previous plan to build plants with an installed capacity of more than 40 Megawatt. Snam developed the following initiatives in 2019 with this in mind:
- through the new subsidiary Snam 4 Environment, it acquired from Ladurner Ambiente and from AB Invest a stake of around 83% in Renerwaste, one of the largest companies operating in Italy in biogas and biomethane infrastructures, for an outlay at the closing, including the repayment of the shareholders’ loan, of around €46 million. This acquisition enabled Snam to have an operational base of facilities, several key senior figures for the development of the business and the necessary requirements to participate in future public-private partner initiatives. The scope of this operation includes three project companies (SPV) that are already operational, two of which own biogas facilities for cogeneration, with a total supply of around 130 thousand tonnes per year of FORSU (Ecoprogetto Milano and Ecoprogetto Tortona) and the owner of a municipal solid waste treatment plant (RSU) with a total capacity of 75 thousand tonnes per year (Renerwaste Lodi);
- it signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Infore Environmental Group, an environmental services company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the controlling shareholder of Ladurner Ambiente, for potential joint initiatives for the development of biogas and biomethane infrastructure in China;
- it signed a binding letter of intent aimed at negotiating and defining agreements to launch a strategic partnership in infrastructure for biomethane from agriculture through the entry, with a 50% stake, into Iniziative Biometano, a company operating in Italy with five biogas plants, for which there is a plan for conversion to biomethane, and with various plants in the process of authorisation or construction.
Not requiring new investments in infrastructures and helping to exploit waste and sub-products, biomethane becomes a vital source for focusing national and European objectives i terms of decarbonisation.