On November 27, Italian energy operators Eni and Snam signed an agreement concerning the management of two groups of international gas pipelines connecting Algeria to Italy.
According to the agreement, Eni will sell to Snam a 49.9% stake in certain companies that manage the onshore gas pipelines running from the Algeria and Tunisia borders to the Tunisia coast (TTPC), and the offshore gas pipelines connecting the Tunisian coast to Italy (TMPC).
Pursuant to the agreement, Eni will contribute its entire ownership interests in the two pipelines to a newly incorporated Italian company (NewCo) in which Eni will continue to hold a 50.1% stake, whereas the remaining 49.9% will be sold to Snam for a purchase price equal to 385 million euros.
According to a press note released by Eni and Snam, the transaction will create synergies among the parties’ respective areas of expertise in gas transport on a strategic route for the security of the natural gas supply in Italy, enabling potential development initiatives within the hydrogen value chain from North Africa.
“This transaction – explained Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi – allows us to free up new resources to be used on our energy transition path, while at the same time maintaining the management of a strategic infrastructure with Snam to ensure the security of natural gas supply to the country. Gas will play a key role in the transition of energy systems to zero-emission models, and it is important to maintain the availability and diversification of supply routes for this resource.”
Marco Alverà, Snam CEO, commented: “This deal consolidates Snam’s central role in Italy’s security of supply as well as in energy transport from the Mediterranean region. Through this transaction, Snam is bridging its infrastructure towards North Africa, which represents a key area for gas supplies to Italy and forward looking for hydrogen development. In the future, North Africa could also become a hub for producing solar energy and green hydrogen.“
The transaction supports Eni’s broader strategy to optimize its portfolio and accelerate growth in sectors related to the energy transition. Snam will benefit from its position on a strategic route for the security of natural gas supplies to Italy and the opportunity to support potential developments within the hydrogen value chain also by means of natural resources in North Africa
The closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions, relating in particular to mandatory authorizations pursuant to antitrust and “golden power” regulations, authorizations from the Tunisian government and approval of the shareholders and boards of directors of certain target companies. The operation, therefore, will be concluded only in 2022.