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Gas

The Group almost entirely covers the reference territory in the gas sector as well. This includes distribution services and sales services, plus methane gas trading, as well as the management of district heating. Hera is currently among the leading “local” firms and the fourth nationally in terms of sales volumes. In spite of the liberalisation of the sales market, the Group has maintained and developed its original customer base, reaching 1.11 million users, in other words almost doubling it in ten years, thanks to successive mergers.

 2002200320042005200620072008200920102011
Volums distributed (ml m3) n/a 1,6611,9122,3992,3122,1502,3702,3342,5042,389
Customers ('000)6687007999401,0031,0191,0661,0711,0721,115
Gas network (Km)7,8808,2618,26111,80412,29412,37713,18613,34213,51413,734

Sales have also more than doubled in this period, with volumes handled reaching more than 3.3 billion cubic metres. The distribution network, developed through direct investment and the acquisition of companies, has reached 14 thousand km.

 

 
Gas volumes sold

The uncertain situation has led the Group to pursue prudent and flexible procurement policies, taking the opportunities that arise from the slow process of opening up and developing raw material import capacities and the international and Italian wholesale markets. Hera has a multi-year gas importing capacity of almost 500 million cubic metres per year through the TAG gas pipeline (Russian gas). It has also gradually diversified internal (domestic) sources, striving for maximum flexibility through annual agreements (multi-year contracts are currently present in 10% of total supplies). Lastly, there has been an organisational breakdown which has led to the establishment of a sales company (Heracomm) and a trading company (Heratrading), thanks to which Hera has established direct operational activities in Baumgarten and at other European hubs. This supply portfolio structure has protected Hera from the risks of purchasing “predetermined” materials many years ahead and, in recent years, has allowed it to derive benefit from the growing availability of methane gas in the country. Another means of safeguarding supplies, set against a background of maintaining a low risk profile, has seen Hera purchase a stake of more than 10% of the capital of Galsi, a special purpose vehicle for the construction of a gas pipeline with a capacity of 8 billion cubic metres, which will go directly from Algeria to Italy. The pre-contracted capacity comes to approximately 1 billion cubic metres per year, a quantity that allows Hera to focus on diversifying gas supplies with a third from North Africa, a third from Europe and a third from Italian operators.

Sales volumes relating to district heating have also almost doubled. As is known, this is a way of transforming energy into heat more efficiently and with less impact on the environment than independent housing heating systems.

 
Heat distributed

The district heating network has been developed in urban areas in the territory near the large waste-to-energy and cogeneration plants built in the last ten years, thereby exploiting heat sources which would not otherwise be used. 

(ml€)2002200320042005200620072008200920102011Cagr.
Revenues473.1 514.1589.8871.2987.6922.01,216.41,290.71,237.11,490.2+13.6%
Ebitda70.499.7106.0118.5116.1104.7143.8174.4193.9208.7+12.8%
Ebit 35.966.181.785.977.960.682.6111.9135.0149.2+17.1%

Economic results have constantly improved (with the exception of 2007 as mentioned previously) bringing EBITDA to over €209 million which is triple the original figure in 2002. The growth of this result is mainly due to investments, efficiency, mergers and acquisitions and, lastly, the noted flexible upstream structure.