Italian Gas Company Snam Comes To Albania

Italian gas company Snam will, alongside the Albanian government, manage and maintain the Albanian section of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. This will be executed through a joint company formed by Albania’s gas infrastructure operator Albgaz and Italian gas infrastructure company Snam.

Snam, originally a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni, currently owned by CDP Reti, a holding company controlled by the Italian state, holds 20% of the TAP shares.

On March 21, the Albanian government greenlighted the formation of an inter-ministerial working group in order to begin negotiations for the new joint company between the Italian Snam and the Albanian Albgaz, controlled by Albpetrol and, recently authorized to operate the country’s gas system.

A year ago, the Albanian Albpetrol had entered negotiations with Greek gas transmission system operator DESFA, concerning the same contract. This stirred Italian discontent, leading to chilly diplomatic relations between Albania and Italy. It seems, political importance and Snam’s higher credibility lead Albania’s government to drop negotiations with Greece.

This happened precisely when a 66% stake of DESFA was being offered to private bidders by the Greek government. One of the two investor groups bidding on the stake was a consortium that included the Italian Snam.