Italian gas group Snam seeks to tap EU green energy funds

(Reuters) - Italy's state-controlled gas grid operator Snam said on Thursday it expected to get a financial support for some of its projects from the European Union's REPowerEU green energy scheme.

The Italian government, which is struggling to spend 191.5 billion euros ($210.59 B) of EU post-COVID funds by 2026, wants to shift some of that money to REPowerEU projects.

According to a document released by the government, Rome could spend in total 19 billion euros ($21 billion) under the REPowerEU, with more than 400 million euros earmarked for Snam's projects under a proposal that will need to be cleared by Brussels.

"By the end of September or end-October we may have more information about available funds for the project we have submitted," Snam CEO Stefano Venier said in a post-results conference call.

Snam has submitted three investment projects related to the capture of carbon dioxide, the extension of the country's storage system and the increase of the gas pipeline's capacity, the so-called Adriatic line project.

Venier also said he was expecting a response from Brussels before end-2023 on whether Snam's plan to build a hydrogen pipeline linking Europe to North Africa, dubbed South H2 Corridor, would be added to the EU's list of "common European interest" (IPGEI) projects.

Snam's adjusted core profit rose nearly 6% to 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) between January and June, thanks to an increase in both regulated and non-regulated revenue.

The group said increasing depreciation and amortization costs and higher financial expenses weighed on its adjusted net income, which fell 4% to 621 million euros in the period.

Net debt rose to 14.6 billion euros at end-June from 12 billion euros at the end of December.

Snam confirmed its financial targets for 2023 and said Italy's natural gas storage system was 87% full.

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