In June 2009, with the completion of the acquisition of Stogit and Italgas, Snam Rete Gas brought together the entire infrastructure in the gas sector (transportation, regasification, storage and distribution). This led to the creation of an integrated player, a leader in continental Europe in terms of the capital invested for regulatory purposes (RAB, Regulatory Asset Base) with outstanding skills and infrastructure comprising the latest technology.

The success of the Stock Exchange placement in 2001 had already confirmed the distinctiveness of a history that began in 1941 when, during the war, the natural gas "adventure" began.

The history

On 30 October 1941 the Ente Nazionale Metano (the National Gas Board, established in 1940), Agip, the Regie Terme di Salsomaggiore and the Società Anonima Utilizzazion e Ricerca Gas Idrocarburati (Surgi) set up the Società Nazionale Metanodotti (Snam) for the construction and operation of pipelines, and the distribution and sale of gas. The share capital was fixed at 3 million lire.

During war, natural gas becomes a crucial source of energy for Italy: huge amounts of steel, despite being essential for the war effort, were allocated to the construction of the first pipeline, that brought to Lodi and Milan gas from the wells at Salsomaggiore (PR). This was the so-called "ring of Milan", 13 km long, and starting from the decompression cabin at Rogoredo and supplying the distributors of natural gas for cars, which at that time ran only on charcoal or  natural gas. The gas pipeline network that in 1948 extended over a total of 257 kilometres, by 1950 already exceeded 700 km, rising to a total of 2000 km in 1952.

The development of natural gas accompanied the rebirth and growth of Italian industry, with the construction of pipelines that delivered natural gas to meet the energy needs of the country from the Po Valley, the North Sea, North Africa and Russia,
In 1961 creation of a natural gas infrastructure for southern Italy got underway. Construction began on two major gas pipelines. The first brought to Terni and Rome the gas discovered in the province of Chieti and the second delivered gas from Basilicata to the Apulian coast.

Between the sixties and the eighties is the network of pipelines across the country quadrupled and continues to expand. In 1960 there were some 4,600 kilometres of pipeline, almost all in the Po Valley. Ten years later, at 8,000 kilometres the network had reached national dimension and, in 1980 totalled nearly 15,000 km, covering almost the entire country.

In 1974 gas began to arrive from Russia and Holland. The gas from fields in Siberia, after travelling thousands of miles through the first Russian gas pipeline, including nearly 400 in Italy, arrived at Sergnano (CR). In 1974 a new 830 km-long pipeline entered service for the importation into Italy of gas from the Groningen field (Netherlands).

Snam built the 1420 km-long Transmed gas pipeline, which is unique of its kind, to transport gas from Algeria to Sicily and then to Lombardy, in addition to more than 1,000 kilometres by sea or outside of Italy. More than 40 constructions sites, 2500 men, one million tons of steel, 190 km of sea crossed: these are just some of the significant numbers from the project.

The Transpadano gas pipeline was built between 1992 and 1995 at record depth under the sea. This new 286 km-long gas pipeline from Minerbio (Bologna) tp Mortara (Pavia) was a technological first, crossing under the bed of the River Po at a depth of 1,100 metres.

In 1996 the Transmed doubled with the construction of a second major gas pipeline that passes through Italy. A major new development which, ten years after the construction of the first Transmed, faced new challenges and resolved them with new technological solutions.

Subsequent years were marked by the expansion of the pipelines for imports from Northern Europe and Libya, which allowed the arrival of gas extracted from wells in the North Sea, as well as the Netherlands and the construction of a new pipeline from Russia, to cope with the increase in demand for gas in Italy.

The main stages

Snam today

Snam is the leading company in Italy in the transport and dispatching of natural gas, where it boasts the highest levels of competence also in terms of technology, research and safety.

For nearly seventy years the company has designed, built and operated a pipeline network of about 31,700 km that extends over much of the country: an integrated and capillary network built also to safeguard the environment and the local landscape. The progressive extension of the network includes the environmental recovery and restoration, actions that particularly characterise the company's commitment to environmental sustainability.

In 2010 areas affected by the laying of over 170 km of pipeline were restored and 25 km2 of re-forestation was completed.

Snam is a subsidiary Snam, an integrated operator in the regulated gas sector in Italy and leader in Europe in terms of capital invested for regulatory purposes (RAB).

Snam is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and is engaged in the transport and dispatching of natural gas with Snam, regasification with Gnl Italia, storage with and Stogit and distribution, also to domestic users, with Italgas.

The numbers



The story of the gas at the cinema

It is fascinating and exciting to tell the story of a business in pictures. And if the story involves a company of the size, diversity and relevance of Eni, we are inevitably dealing with something to complete and conserve for historical memory.

  • L'Italia non é un Paese Povero (Italy is not a poor country)
    Directed by Joris Ivens, in collaboration with Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Tinto Brass and Valentino Orsini. The commentary is by Alberto Moravia and Corrado Sofia Edition: 1960, b/n
  • Chilometri 1696 (Km 1696)
    Directed by Valentino Orsini Edition: 1966, colour


Il gas nella pubblicità (Gas in advertising)

  • 1985 Il metano ti dà una mano (Natural gas gives you a hand)
  • 1988 Cielo Pulito (Clean Sky)
  • 1990 Basta un Click (Just a Click)
  • 1990 Filo Azzuro (Blue Wire)
  • 1992 Signor Rossi (Mr Rossi)
  • 1996 Folon (Folon)
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