2020: towards decarbonisation

2020 was a year of opportunities and challenges for Snam, which the Group was able to take advantage of and face, strengthening the decarbonisation process.

Snam's History


Snam renews its commitment and increases its investments in new businesses to support energy transition. Approval is given for the new 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, which will result in decarbonisation by 2024.


Snam introduces a mix of hydrogen and natural gas into its transmission network for the first time. It also creates a business unit focused entirely on the hydrogen business and approves the new 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, taking on a crucial role in energy transition both for itself and for Italy.


Snam restyles its brand identity, renewing its logo and brand values. It also defines its new purpose: “Energy to inspire the world”. In the same year, negotiations begin for the acquisition of 66% of DESFA (Greece). Starting this year, Snam begins investing in biomethane and sustainable mobility.


During the course of 2017, Snam signs a framework agreement with Eni for the development of methane stations. It also signs a number of Memoranda of Understanding with overseas operators, for collaborative and strategic purposes. In the same year, it acquires ITA and Adriatic LNG.

2016 THE NEW CEO Marco Alverà is appointed CEO of Snam.

In the same year, the company splits away from Italgas and acquires 49% of Gas Connect Austria.


As of 2013, Snam begins a series of acquisitions (TIGF, TAG and TAP) to expand its international presence.


New company name: Snam Rete Gas becomes Snam, leaving the former in charge of the transportation, dispatching, remote control and gas-metering elements of the business. The same year also marks the unbundling from Eni and the acquisition of 31.5% of Interconnector UK.


Snam acquires 100% control of Stogit and Italgas from Eni for 4,509 million euros.


Publication of the Group's first Sustainability Report for the 2006 reporting year and win of the 2007 “Oscar di Bilancio” (Financial Report Award) for Corporate Governance.


Following European Directive 98/30/EC, Snam decides to unbundle transportation and dispatching from all other activities within the company.


The birth of Rete Gas Italia, which will later change its name to Snam Rete Gas. This year also sees the birth of GNL Italia, to handle LNG regasification activities. Finally, Snam shares are listed on the Italian stock exchange.


Snam completes the work of upgrading pipelines for importation from northern Europe, and begins working on the construction of an additional import pipeline from Russia and on Greenstream, the underwater import pipeline from Libya.


Work ends on Transmed, the “record-breaking pipeline” which transports gas from Algeria across the Mediterranean and Italy.


Between 1960 and 1980 the network in Italy is quadrupled, reaching an overall length of almost 15,000 km by 1980.


On 30 October 1941, the Società Nazionale Metanodotti (Snam) is founded for the construction and operation of natural gas pipelines and the distribution and sale of gas. Thus, the project of converting Italy to methane begins and will continue until 1960.

New businesses

During the year, Snam continued to develop and grow new businesses (biomethane, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and hydrogen), with the aim of being a leader in the energy transition.

Demonstrating this, in December 2020 Snam signed, together with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Eni, an agreement to jointly carry out integrated projects in the energy transition business, throughout the entire value chain.

Relative to sustainable mobility business, Snam continued to grow, supporting the introduction and development of CNG, LNG and SSLNG mobility in Italy. In particular, with regard to the Panigaglia LNG terminal, requests for authorisation to construct infrastructures used by LNG on load transportation tankers were submitted to the competent bodies and authorisation is currently underway for the construction of a micro-liquefaction plant in Campania, to allow loading of tankers for distribution of LNG and bio-LNG in Italy. Additionally, during the year Snam signed agreements and partnerships, continuing negotiations, and establishing contracts with over 25 counterparts, for a total of approximately 132 contractualised stations, of which 20 LNG.

Again with reference to sustainable mobility, Snam is involved in the H2iseO project, together with FNM and Trenord, to create the first Italian “Hydrogen Valley”, in Lombardy, in particular in Sebino and Valcamonica, with the objective of creating a fleet of hydrogen trains and associated infrastructure, starting in 2023.

For the hydrogen business, in 2020 Snam continued to develop hydrogen applications in the industrial sector for railway transportation, thanks to cooperative projects begun with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Alstom, promoting its potential as a fundamental energy vector in the fight against climate change and in decarbonisation of “hard-to-abate” industries. The collaboration is intended to accomplish the first conversions of railway sections from diesel to hydrogen: the agreement already calls for the conversion of around 13 sections with a total length of approximately 700 km, with the installation of the first fuel cells with a capacity of 45 MW.

Additionally, in January 2020 the Group officially become part of The Hydrogen Council, a global coalition of leading energy sector, industrial and transportation companies committed to promoting the use of hydrogen to support the energy transition. With the intention of implementing new technological solutions for the energy transition based on green hydrogen1 and the capture and reuse of CO2, Snam has developed multiple partnerships to acquire technical skills, improve its technological position and become more competitive. In this sense, in November Snam announced the acquisition of a significant minority stake in De Nora, which was finalised on 8 January 2021. In addition to being a global innovator in sustainable energies and technologies for water treatment and a global technological leader in alkaline electrodes, with significant knowledge in the electrochemical field, the Company also holds a 34% stake in ThyssenKrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers (TKUCE), a joint venture with ThyssenKrupp, a world leader in water electrolysis, involved in multiple major projects for green hydrogen production. Also, in November, Snam signed an agreement with ITM Power which, among other things, called for the acquisition of a 2.32% equity investment in the company, through participation in a capital increase successfully completed on the market.

In December, Snam announced its participation in a global coalition of seven companies. Through the “Green Hydrogen Catapult” initiative, they aim to develop 25 MW in green hydrogen production capacity by 2026, halving current production costs, bringing them to less than $2/kg. This threshold is the turning point to make green hydrogen and its derivatives (such as green ammonia) the ideal energy resource for various sectors, from the manufacturing of steel to fertilisers, from electricity generation to long haul shipping, for which there is potential short-term demand in Europe and globally.

Finally, at the end of the year a project was implemented by Snam, Tenaris and Edison to experiment with the production of steel using green hydrogen, to contribute to decarbonisation of the iron/steel sector. The project calls for the use of green hydrogen in the Tenaris steel mill in Dalmine. The initiative could also include the creation of a storage site for high pressure hydrogen and the use of oxygen in the smelting process. All of these activities will help to significantly reduce CO2 emissions associated with the production of steel.

With respect to energy efficiency business, in October 2020 Snam 4 Efficiency finalised the acquisition of 70% of Mieci S.p.A. and Evolve S.p.A., for a total of around 50 million euros, expanding its portfolio of clients who can be offered integrated efficiency and technological services. During 2020, Snam, through TEP, completed 54 deep renovation projects for condominiums, leading to a reduction of CO2 emissions of around 1.7 kton/year, for a total reduction of over 2.3 kton/year, when also considering the projects implemented the previous year. In the industrial sector, 4 new plants were commissioned and 6 were acquired through the merger with TEA, for a total of 17 plants operated, also considering the 7 constructed in previous years, allowing for reductions in CO2 emissions of around 2.2 kton/year.

For biomethane business, Snam, through its subsidiary IES Biogas, designed and built advanced biomethane production systems, starting from waste and by-products from the food and waste industries, in particular FORSU (organic portion of municipal waste). Additionally, with an eye to internalising the skills of sector leaders and strengthening its position in the biomethane value chain, Snam completed its acquisition of Renerwaste S.r.l., involved in biogas and biomethane infrastructure and continued its projects with Enersi Sicilia S.r.l. to create a biomethane and compost production plant. It also acquired a 50% stake in Iniziative Biometano, a company which manages biogas and biomethane systems powered by agricultural biomass.


In 2020, Snam continued to pursue its internationalisation strategy, developing relationships in key countries for the expansion of its business.

In February, Snam and SOCAR, the state energy company of the Republic of Azerbaijan, signed a cooperation agreement to study development of renewable gas and sustainable energy, also in terms of prospects for future use in the Southern Energy Corridor2 and, therefore, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

In July, Snam finalised one of the most important transactions in the sector at the global level. A consortium consisting of Snam, the sole state operator, and five international funds acquired, 49% of ADNOC Gas Pipelines, a company which holds for 20 years the management rights to 38 gas pipelines in the United Arab Emirates.

Additionally, in August Snam and Pipechina (China Oil and Gas Piping Network Corporation, a company recently established by the Chinese government to supervise the development and management of gas infrastructure in the country) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for strategic cooperation including technical support (for transportation infrastructure, regasification and storage of natural gas) and research and development for the energy transition in China (including experiments in the hydrogen sector), as well as possibilities for joint investments. Also in China, the supply of technical services to the main government energy companies continued in 2020, mainly for storage business.

Finally, in November Snam signed a series of cooperation agreements for the energy transition in the Indian market, in particular for hydrogen and sustainable mobility, with Adani Gas Limited, Greenko and Indian Oil.

Sustainability and CSR

In January 2020, Snam was added to the 325 companies around the world included on the Gender-Equality Index (GEI) 2020 published by Bloomberg, demonstrating the Company’s commitment to promoting and guaranteeing gender parity, which was also recognised in 2021 with its inclusion in the GEI 2021. In December 2020, the Group was promoted to the “Climate Change A List” (from the previous A-), published by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), for its actions aimed at reducing emissions, mitigating climate risks and developing a low carbon economy.

The importance the fight against climate change has for the Company is also demonstrated by the issuing in February 2019 of the first Climate Action Bond in Europe (and the second globally), a financial instrument used to allocate funds to projects for reducing CO2 emissions, increase the use of renewables, and support energy efficiency and the development of green projects based on environmental criteria.

In February 2020, the first Climate Action Bond Report was published, which contains significant information for investors, including the framework used by Snam and the processes adopted to assess and select projects, as well as case studies of activities selected by Snam. These activities were followed by the highly successful issuing of three Transition bonds, which will be used for Eligible Projects, projects for the energy transition, for which the selection criteria is indicated in the Group’s Transition Bond Framework, published in June. In February 2021, the second report on the Climate Action Bond was published, including analyses carried out on the Transition Bonds issued at that date.

Additionally, in September 2020, as a founding member of the CFO Taskforce, established as part of the Global Compact, Snam contributed to the publication of Guidelines for Finance and Investment linked to the SDGs, containing the first guidelines supported by the United Nations for investments and finance intended to guide companies in aligning their sustainability commitments with corporate finance strategies intended to create a significant impact on the SDGs.

Finally, with reference to the “sustainable loan”, in 2020 Snam obtained the confirmation of a 2.5 basis point reduction in the cost of this loan for the second year in a row, due to achieving objectives linked to social and environmental sustainability parameters.

Among other activities linked to sustainable finance, Snam carried out an initial analysis on the alignment of its corporate investment plan with respect to SDG criteria and the European Taxonomy, analysing the delegated acts draft published in November 2020 by the European Commission to classify economic assets able to support the achievement of European environmental and climate goals. At the date of this report, the delegated acts were approved by EU co-legislators and they were subsequently implemented in the second/third quarter of 2021.

In June 2020, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and Snam announced the foundation of Arbolia a benefit company established to develop reforesting and CO2 absorption projects in Italian cities, to be carried out in part with the involvement of companies and private citizens who want to contribute to protecting the environment. The benefit company’s goal is to plant 3 million new trees by 2030, to absorb around 200 thousand tonnes of CO2.

The new strategic plan

On 25 November 2020, Snam presented its new 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, “Towards Net Zero”. The new strategy is intended to strengthen Snam’s core business, continue the Group’s international expansion, and focus on innovation and new business for the energy transition, which will allow Snam to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

The new Plan establishes ambitious objectives: Snam intends to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 2018 figures and reduce methane emissions by 45% by 2025 compared to 2015, in line with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) framework. To achieve these objectives, the Group has planned investments totalling 7.4 billion.

The new Strategic Plan also saw the creation of the ESG Scorecard, a tool designed to ensure greater disclosure of the main environmental, social and governance aspects, while evaluating the Group’s performance relative to certain targets established for coming years, confirming the fact that Snam fully integrates social, environmental and governance issues into its business decisions.

The Covid-19 pandemic

Snam and Fondazione Snam implemented a number of projects to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Starting in February 2020, at the beginning of the health emergency in Italy, Snam immediately created an ad hoc team to manage the situation, which maintained constant contact with Civil Protection, to guarantee the health and safety of its own personnel and continuity of its essential energy security services for the country. Additionally, the Group immediately activated smart working to limit the risks of direct contact in offices.

The company worked quickly to protect its people; to that end a health insurance policy was established for all employees relative to contagion risks and over 3,200 pulse oxymeters were distributed, monitoring and prevention tools that make it possible to measure the blood oxygen levels and heartbeat, accompanied by professional medical assistance when necessary. Snam also offered preventive blood screening to all personnel, with access to a swab test if needed to ascertain a positive diagnosis. A number of internal initiatives were also begun to strengthen connections between people, from webinars to video messages from the CEO, as well as additional services to support remote working (delivery of smart-working kits, consisting of a monitor and a wireless keyboard and mouse) and well-being and life balance, including baby-sitting vouchers, online edutainment and study support services.

In addition to the main objective of supporting the organisation during a historic, complex and delicate situation, several important transformation and change projects were successfully completed, including digitalisation of processes and training where the internal corporate university, Snam Institute, was able to continue with training in a digital format, and despite the closure of offices during the first half of 2020 25,000 hours of training were provided, through 200 courses, involving approximately 2,500 employees.

Moving on to look at the assistance Snam offered the health and social systems, in March 2020, in cooperation with Fondazione Snam, the Group allocated 20 million euros for initiatives to support the Italian health system and non-profit sector to deal with the emergency. In particular, Snam invested in PPE and medical material (ventilators and masks), donated to support immediate medical needs. Some of these resources were also directed to the non-profit sector, cooperating with around 150 partners including institutions, third sector entities, research organisations and schools, to support the most vulnerable sections of the population, including the elderly, young people and children, victims of domestic violence, homeless people, individuals with disabilities and people affected by non-Covid diseases. Through this assistance, which ranged throughout Italy, Snam reached more than 700,000 people.

At the same time, Snam began a charity drive through Group employees, called “Diamo forma al futuro” (Let’s shape the future), through a payroll giving initiative that offered the possibility of contributing through a voluntary donation. The initiative allowed Snam executives, starting with the CEO and top management, could decrease their gross remuneration from May through December 2020, to allow the company to activate charity initiatives. Additionally, all employees could contribute on a voluntary basis through cash donations or by donating one or more work hours through their individual paystub. The amounts collected were then matched by the company and transferred to entities involved in the health emergency. The campaign saw the participation of more than 1,200 employees who made a very significant impact.

1 Green hydrogen means hydrogen obtained solely through energy produced by renewable sources, such as solar, wind or recycled energy. It is obtained through electrolysis, that is by separating the hydrogen and oxygen in water, through an electrical-powered machine called an electrolyzer.
2 The Southern Energy Corridor is a 3,500 km route that travels seven countries, transporting gas from the Caspian Sea to Italy.

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