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Service continuity

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An unique integrated Dispatching center: the Dispatching Centre provides to the monitoring and remote controlling of the transport network operations, receiving data from around 3,800 plants located along the transport network, with more than 1,600 of them controlled remotely.In addition to that, it remotely controls 9 storage plants.

 

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Launched the first trial of a long-distance civil flight of a remotecontrol operated drone for monitoring the network

Ensuring service quality, reliability and continuity in the management of safe energy supply for Italy, is an essential requirement in order for Snam to be able to operate.

Snam provides gas to companies and to the community, guaranteeing free access and competitive conditions.

The transportation capacity of the network again covered all user demand in 2019. In addition to the average transport capacity offered at entry points connected with foreign countries and with LNG terminals equal to 362.9 million cubic metres/day; Snam has made further transport capacities available at entry points interconnected with national producers for a total of 20.7 million cubic metres average/day and with the production of biomethane for a total of 0.3 million of cubic metres average/day.


Over the last 16 years transport operators have been constantly increasing, going from around 30 operators in 2003 to around 210 operators in 2019 (including shippers and traders). In 2019, 123 connection agreements were entered into for the creation of new delivery/redelivery points or for upgrading existing ones, including 26 contracts for the injection of biomethane and 61 relating to CNG service areas.

Regarding storage business in 2019 Snam took action to promote the replenishment of national storage facilities for the purpose of being able to manage seasonal peaks in demand. The replenishment level at the end of the injection campaign (October 2019) was 99%, in line with the European average.
The market oriented approach adopted in 2019 allowed the Company to increase the mix of customers owing a Storage contract (not only shippers serving end users but also traders who maximise revenues from buying and selling gas to the PSV - virtual trading point) as well as attracting major European players. Thanks to the investments made to develop new deposits and upgrade existing ones, the total storage capacity at the end of 2019, on a like-for-like basis with strategic storage, reached 17.0 billion cubic metres (+0.1 billion cubic metres compared with 2018), following the Bordolano field gradually coming into operation.

The total amount of gas regasified at the Panigaglia plant in 2019 was 2.40 billion m³ (0.91 billion m³ in 2018; +1.49 billion m³).
The significant increase in volumes of activities compared with last year, is mainly due to the greater competitiveness of the cost of LNG compared with natural gas, as well as the new regasification capacity allocation mechanisms through dedicated auctions.
In 2019 57 methane tankers were unloaded (+36 compared with 2018).
The new capacity allocation mechanisms based on auctions as well as the new businesses in the SSLNG sector, linked specifically to the possible future uses in heavy transport and maritime transport, will lead to a scenario of further growth in the consumption of LNG in future years.

Group companies have maintained a high level of service quality and engage with clients on an annual basis through customer satisfaction surveys.

A list of indicators was identified to monitor the quality of service provided, automatically compensating customers in the event of non-compliance with service quality standards.

Snam’s performance in 2019 remained strong with regard to these indicators, for example reaching 100% compliance with time frame for issue of connection offer in transmission, 100% compliance with time frames for providing services subject to specific commercial quality standards in storage and reaching 100% compliance with the maximum period of interruption/reduction in capacity at the terminal due to maintenance works in regasification.
With a view to ensuring continuous improvement, the monitoring of service quality directly involves customers through annual customer satisfaction surveys.

Service continuity is of key importance for Snam which frequently checks its infrastructures.

To ensure service continuity, the company’s facilities and pipelines are subjected to regular checks and maintenance operations. With regard to gas transmission, for example, special attention is paid to the transmission route, which is inspected regularly with motor vehicles, helicopters and on foot, in order to detect potentially dangerous situations caused, for example, by work performed by third parties in the vicinity of the pipeline. Similarly, any movements that could cause landslides at specific points along the route are kept under control. The integrity of pipelines is also checked by running devices known as “intelligent pigs” through them, enabling possible faults to be detected.

Besides, 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 effi cient: with this in mind, in 2019, Snam launched the first trial of a long-distance civil flight of a remotecontrol operated drone for monitoring the network.

TRANSPORTATION SEGMENTS CONTROLS AND INSPECTIONS

  2017 2018 2019
Network inspected using smart pigs (km) 1,632 1,651 1,651
Network inspected by helicopter (km) 16,274 18,462 20,178
Network subject to geological inspection (km) 4,080 4,209 5,163


The 13 gas compression stations situated along the 32,000 km of pipeline network are controlled directly by the recently renovated dispatching unit at San Donato Milanese, which is responsible for ensuring that pressure levels are sufficient to meet demand. The network is also monitored using ongoing remote readings of cathodic protection meters as well as manual readings.

In the case of events that could lead to the interruption or unavailability of business processes, Snam has adopted a Business Continuity Management policy to manage the Business Continuity Management process and ensure an appropriate reaction to emergency situations, which is centralised at Group level and applies directly to all Group subsidiaries.

In accordance with the safety management system policy and guidelines, Snam has also established a Crisis Management Model, consisting of all the rules and methods for declaring and managing events which could lead to a crisis.

The Dispatching Centre

The Dispatching Centre provides to the monitoring and remote controlling of the transport network operations, receiving data from around 3,800 plants located along the transport network, with more than 1,600 of them controlled remotely.
Through the use of a specific software application, the data collected, also on the basis of historical consumption and weather forecasts, makes it possible to formulate short-term forecasts for the gas demand and to simulate and optimise the gas flows in the network, guaranteeing the best arrangement for the compression stations to thereby reduce their consumption and containing in this way the emission levels.
The network operations and the physical balancing of the system are constantly guaranteed by an operations room staffed 24/7, which, based on the programming defined by customers and in coordination with Italian and foreign infrastructure operators connected to the transportation network, ensures the correct movement of the gas from the injection points to the withdrawal points.
In addition to that, the dispatching Centre remotely controls 9 storage plants, planning and carrying out the operations for the surface treatment plants, shaft and compression area, guaranteeing a secure execution in ordinary, irregular or emergency operating conditions.

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Find out more about infrastructure safety in the 2019 Sustainability Report

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Find out about the Dispatching centre                                           

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Download the report about Financial disclosure on Climate Change 2019

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updated
28 May 2020 - 12:43 CEST