In January, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, a Canadian pension fund that manages a $200 billion portfolio, reached an agreement to acquire 69% of the share capital of Italian gas transmission operator Società Gasdotti Italia (SGI).
Società Gasdotti Italia is the largest independent gas transmission operator in Italy, with a 1,700-kilometre high-pressure pipeline network transporting natural gas to 9 italian regions. Recently, the company expanded its operations, building the San Marco-Recanati and Larino-Chieti pipelines as well as developing a gas transmission network in Sardinia in collaboration with Snam.
The Canadian fund acquired the share of Società Gasdotti Italia‘s capital from Australian group Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), that had bought SGI in 2016 in a consortium with Swiss Life. The swiss insurance company will remain owner of its 30% share.
With this investment, the Canadian fund enters a dynamic and innovative economic sector and a very relevant one in terms of environmental sustainability. The goal is to contribute to the transition towards renewable energy sources such as green hydrogen and biomethane, joining the wider decarbonization efforts in Italy and Europe.
“Thanks to its geographical location and its extensive gas infrastructure, Italy could become a model of innovation in this field” said Lorenzo Angeloni, Director General for Cultural and Economic Promotion of the Italian Foreign Ministry. “According to Fondazione Ambrosetti, Italy has the potential to become a European hub of clean energy, producing green hydrogen with solar and wind power and importing it from North Africa at a price at least 10-15% lower than the local cost of production.”
SGI puts therefore itself in line with future market trends: according to a study done by Fondazione Ambrosetti and Snam, in 2050 hydrogen could represent 23% of the Italian energy mix.