Ensuring infrastructure reliability, 360° monitoring

In order to provide a high-quality, continuous service, it is necessary for infrastructures to have a high level of reliability, which at Snam is guaranteed by Dispatching, an operations room manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which monitors and remotely controls transport, receiving data from approximately 4,400 plants located along the network (more than 1,600 of which are remotely controlled) and which ensures the correct movement of gas from injection points to withdrawal points based on the schedule defined by customers, in coordination with the operators of foreign infrastructures connected to the Italian network.

In addition to the transmission network, Dispatching also remotely controls the 9 storage plants, planning and executing surface, well area and compression treatment activities, ensuring their safe execution under all operating conditions, both ordinary and extraordinary.

Thanks to Snam’s numerous investments in technological innovation and digitalisation, from 2021, Dispatching will be able to manage the assets of the transport network and storage plants in a unified and remote manner thanks to the innovative SCADA (System Control and Data Acquisition) system.

Flexibility and default services

Snam Rete Gas, which owns the redelivery points throughout Italy, offers its customers flexibility services, allowing them to book transport capacity not only on an annual basis, but also on a monthly and daily basis, to be sold directly to the thermoelectric power plants, and paying only the quota booked, and not that for the entire thermal year. This service provides shippers with more flexible delivery methods that can cope with changing system operating conditions in a timely and efficient manner.

In order to ensure the correct functioning of the network, Snam Rete Gas also acts as Default Transportation Supplier, guaranteeing the balancing on the transport network also in situations of imbalance or emergency for the entire period in which the Balancing User responsible for the gas withdrawals cannot be identified. The same service is also carried out for the sales companies and final customers at third-party transporter networks who explicitly requested it. In the thermal year 2019-20, the default transport service involved 270 subjects between end customers and sales companies for volumes of approximately 240,000 MWh.

Helping to make the company’s storage capacity more transparent at European level, in 2020, allocations for storage capacity, similar to what is already in place for transport, were brought together on the European PRISMA platform, a single platform that makes it easier for customers to book transport and storage capacity.

Snam’s dispatching: international best practice during the pandemic

In order to guarantee service continuity during the Covid-19 emergency, Snam has implemented the necessary and indispensable measures to continuously monitor the Dispatching Centre. The control rooms in San Donato Milanese and Crema were separated and the drastic measure of isolating staff was adopted to minimise the possibility of contagion between colleagues. All workers were swabbed and medically examined, isolated in special housing and their work was reorganised, with two shifts per day, 12 hours each, for two consecutive weeks followed by two weeks of rest. The Dispatching operators involved were an example of resilience as well as the first to test this measure in such a context, which became an international best practice later adopted also by other international companies such as National Grid, ALNG and Transitgas.

Snam's new commercial platform: the Jarvis project (Graphic)
to pagetop