Dispatch from Rome: Early April 2023

The Haizum Italian Insider Report is a monthly news service that monitors the most relevant issues in Italy. This document focuses on political, Economical, and Strategic matters, taking into account the role of Italy within the European Union, the MENA region, and Transatlantic Relations. The report will deliver clever insights by leveraging Haizum’s deep connections in the national institutional ecosystem.

Reading Time: 20 Minutes


The Italian Government is currently in the process of naming new top management in various state-owned companies, including Enel, Eni, Leonardo, Poste Italiane, Terna, Enav, and Mps. The premier  would like to see a woman appointed as CEO of a leading company, perhaps Terna. Claudio Descalzi is expected to be reappointed as CEO of Eni. Stefano Donnarumma is currently in pole position for the CEO role at Enel, while Alessandro Profumo will probably be replaced as CEO of Leonardo. The game of appointments for more than 600 seats is expected to be in full swing by April 3, with various stakeholders lobbying for their preferred candidates.

Meanwhile, Parliament remains blocked with Bicameral commissions unable to function for five months. However, the long-awaited white smoke is on the way  with the Five Star Barbara Floridia expected for the most important seat on the RAI Vigilance commission. The stalemate has also blocked nominations for the presidencies of the five Italian parliamentary delegations to international assemblies, among other things.

The Government has exercised golden power to protect Inwit, the mobile telecommunications tower company formed by the merger of TIM and Vodafone infrastructure. The concern arose when KKR and GIP funds entered the joint venture that controls Vantage Towers, which holds about 33% of Inwit’s Italian towers.

The Italian economy is experiencing a slowdown with a +0.4% GDP trend for 2023, but it is better than what was initially predicted. Inflation has been a major contributor to slower economic growth as it continues to impact consumer prices and business costs. The Italian economy’s GDP path is expected to be irregular. However, easing inflationary pressures and limiting interest rates could support a positive GDP dynamic from the second half of 2023 to the end of 2024. In the midst of this economic situation, the arrival of the Golar Tundra, a regasification vessel with a capacity of 5 billion cubic meters per year, has been a welcome development. The ship will be used to return the liquefied gas transported by LNG carriers to a gaseous state and will be active in May after finalizing the work to connect the ship to onshore gas infrastructure.



New director of the Digital Agency

Mario Nobile is the new general director of the Agency for Digital Italy (Agid). Nobile was appointed by Alessio Butti, undersecretary to the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for innovation. He comes from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, where in 2015 he was appointed general director for Information and Statistical Systems. Among other tasks, Agid issues the three-year plan for information technology and is involved in various capacities with state-funded digital platforms.

Key figures in Palazzo Chigi 

They are the ones holding the reins of the center-right Government machine. Enlisted in the direct-collaboration offices of President Giorgia Meloni, Vice Presidents Antonio Tajani and Matteo Salvini, and Undersecretaries Giovambattista Fazzolari and Alfredo Mantovano. The Prime Minister wanted two of his historic assistants with her: Patrizia Scurti, head of the secretariat, and Giovanna lanniello as “communications events coordinator”. 

The head of the press office is former Agi director Mario Sechi. Fabrizio Alfano, Agi journalist and former spokesman for Gianfranco Fini president of the Chamber as Sechi’s deputy. Also in the communication office is Alberto Danese, as “internet and social media expert,” and former author of the Voice of the Patriot. Meloni’s web guru, Tommaso Longobardi, who worked for Casaleggio Associati is also within the team. The coordinator of the administrative sector of communication is Carmelo Dragotta and Stefania Gallo has been recruited with the title of “expert”. The chief of staff is Gaetano Caputi, with a past at the Ministry of Economy and Consob.

As “adviser for economic and business policy”, Minister Tajani  chose former deputy Sestino Giacomoni, and former Milan footballer and former deputy, Giuseppe Incocciati as “adviser for youth and sports issues”. 

As “expert” he named former Valle d’Aosta councilwoman Emily Rini, and also as “expert” the priest of the Congregation of the Mission of San Vincenzo de’ Paoli, Matteo Tagliaferri. 

Tajani in his staff also called the former commander of the Guardia di Finanza, General Giorgio Toschi, and the professor of the University of Rome “Foro Italico” Carmine De Angelis, as “adviser for the policies of local authorities.”

One of the most full-bodied teams at Palazzo Chigi is the Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s one with a staff of 15 people for him. Former deputy Armando Siri is in the team as “adviser for economic, credit and sustainable development policies.” Another former  deputy of the Lega and currently deputy mayor of the municipality of Chiuduno in the province of Bergamo, Stefano Locatelli, is appointed as “adviser for relations with the autonomies”. As chief of staff, Salvini named Paolo Grasso, a state lawyer, and as legal expert the Court of Auditors adviser Pierpaolo Grasso.  His historical spokesmen, Matteo Pandini is also in the team as “expert”. In the communication office of the Lega leader there is  Alessandro Pansera and Agostino Pecoraro, already in Luca Morisi’s team.


Rai gets unblocked and starts a domino effect on other commissions

With the sole exception of Copasir, the Bicameral commissions in Parliament have now been blocked for five months: from the control of social security institutions to the RAI Vigilance, on which the long-awaited white smoke is on the way with the Five Star Barbara Floridia destined  to have the most important seat. Which, however, also remains in the sights of Italia Viva ready to insist for Maria Elena Boschi. A solution that could unlock more than 30 seats. In the center-right there should be an agreement on the distribution: around 7 presidencies to Fdi, 4 to Lega and 4 toFi, and 2 to the centrists. The exit from the long stalemate phase seems closer. The nominations for the presidencies of the five Italian parliamentary delegations to international assemblies (from NATO to the OSCE) and the election of the members of “parliamentary extraction” of the Presidential Councils of Administrative Justice, the Court of Auditors and Tax Justice were blocked. An election, the latter, that the Senate was forced to postpone until April 13. 



Golden power used on Inwit

In recent weeks, the Government has exercised golden power to protect Inwit, the mobile telecommunications tower company formed by the merger of TIM and Vodafone infrastructure. The attention was triggered when the KKR and GIP funds entered the joint venture that controls Vantage Towers, i.e., the company where Vodafone merged its infrastructure assets. The two funds now control (along with Vodafone) Vantage Towers, and the latter holds about 33% of Inwit’s Italian towers through the Central Tower Holding Company (Cthe).

The country’s leading mobile infrastructure is controlled by some non-Italian funds. In addition to KKR and GIP, there are other indirect shareholders: the French fund Ardian, which controls Daphne 3, the holding company that controls 30% of Inwit. After this decision, thoughts will inevitably run to Netco, the company that holds TIM’s infrastructure assets (i.e., Sparkle’s fixed network and international network). On Pietro Labriola’s desk, CEO of the company, there are two offers. The first is from the U.S. KKR fund and the second is from the CdpMacquarie cordate. The TIM board has asked both bidders for improvements, which must arrive by April 18.


Chinese shadows on the port of Taranto

It was the summer of 2020 when NATO asked Italy what was happening at the port of Taranto: just a few miles from an allied base, a Chinese group, the old Ferretti shipbuilding brand, was about to launch a major investment. Several things are happening in recent weeks that seem to push Taranto toward Beijing: Ferretti is expanding its investment, increasing the area to be managed within the port. But above all, an even more strategic area has been awarded (the process has yet to be concluded) to a company, Progetto Internazionale 39, which is very peculiar. The company is 33% controlled by Gao Shuai, an entrepreneur acting as a transmission belt between Italian companies and China. The company lacks specific experience. 

Golden power over Italian robotics

The Government imposes limitations  on the granting of a software library by the Novara-based company Robox to Efort Intelligent Equipment, which is linked to the Beijing Government. In past years Efort Intelligent Equipment has purchased other Italian companies. In 2015 it was the turn of CMA Robotics, another robotics company based in Pavia di Udine. In 2016 it was the turn of O.L.C.I., a Turin-based company that is a market leader in the development, design, and manufacture of production systems for the automotive sector, and Evolut, another robotics company in the Brescia area. 


New diplomatic appointments

Vincenzo Celeste, director general for Europe and international trade policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been appointed by the Meloni Government as Italy’s new permanent representative to the European Union. He will replace Ambassador Pietro Benassi, who is retiring. Last week Andrea Orizio assumed his duties as Italy’s representative to the Political and Security Committee taking over from Marco Peronaci, who became permanent representative to NATO taking the place of Francesco Maria Talò, who returned from Brussels to Rome to go to Palazzo Chigi as diplomatic adviser of Giorgia Meloni. At the Farnesina, Nicola Verola will take Celeste’s place as director general for Europe and international trade policy.


Ciocca leaves office as Consob commissioner

Paolo Ciocca has chosen to resign from his role of commissioner at Consob. His exit comes two years ahead of the end of his term, set for 2025. Ciocca’s step back makes it necessary to provide for the reconstitution of Consob’s top board. In addition to the chairman, Paolo Savona, four commissioners are expected, but last Feb. 4 Giuseppe Maria Berruti‘s term ended, and with Ciocca’s early departure, the board of the stock exchange commission counts only two commissioners (Chiara Mosca and Carlo Comporti). 

Giorgia Meloni will, therefore, have to identify two new commissioners. In the meantime, Consob has appointed Luca Giuseppe Filippa as director general, effective July 1, 2023. Last March 15 Enrico Ajello resigned. 

The Italian economy between rising rates and high inflation

The sharp drop in the price of gas in Europe from the end of 2022 is extremely positive news. If inflation fell instantly, thanks to this drop, the economic scenario could be considered normalized. But there are lags to be considered. One of the most important is the transmission of changes in international energy prices to consumer prices. Gas falling to about 50 euros/MWh, from more than 330 at its daily peak in 2022, has facilitated the descent of inflation. But the process will take time. Only in 2024 the total inflation will return closer to the +2% annual threshold. 

Gas prices have remained high for too long, raising business costs. Long enough to enter into the definition of other prices: not only energy tariffs, but also those of transportation services and, finally, the sales lists of many industrial goods. If the rise in consumer prices were to enter fully into the medium-term expectations of the economy,  it will trigger a price-wage spiral and a longer inflationary process. 

It is precisely this fear that conducted the ECB to continue raising interest rates. So far, rates in the Eurozone have risen +3.5 points in just 9 months.  But if their level rises too much in the Eurozone, which is a monetary union and not a federal country, it can lead to greater risks than in the U.S. (fragmentation, financial instability). 

This increase in benchmark rates reverberates, gradually, on the credit channel: which becomes more expensive and less accessible. Thus, monetary tightening will curb business investment and household consumption. 

Italy’s GDP trend in 2023 (+0.4%) is significantly slower than the average for 2022. But it is more favorable than what was assumed just a few months ago. In 2024, on the other hand, a better dynamic is expected (+1.2% annually).

The GDP path, however, is not straight: it is estimated that the Italian economy has  slightly contracted in Q1 2023, mainly due to the lagged effects of inflation on consumption and a pause in investment. 

From the second half of 2023, the easing of inflationary pressures and a lowering of interest rates should support positive GDP dynamics until the end of 2024.

Employment in Italy benefited in 2022 from this scenario, growing albeit with wide differences between sectors in terms of labor intensity. It is expected to remain pegged to the pace of growth in economic activity in 2023 as well (+0.4%).


The Golar Tundra regasifier arrived in Piombino

It had departed twenty-six days earlier from Singapore, crossed the Suez Canal, and finally entered the port of Piombino around 11 p.m. on Sunday, March 20. The Golar Tundra is a regasification vessel (FSRU – Floating Storage and Regasification Unit) and is used to return the liquefied gas (LNG) transported by LNG carriers to a gaseous state. The Golar Tundra has a regasification capacity of 5 billion cubic meters per year. The ship will not go into operation immediately, but in May, when work is completed to connect the ship to onshore gas infrastructure. 

It will remain in Piombino for three years. The agreements call for it to be active for three years in the Tuscan seaport and then have a final destination in the Adriatic, probably in the province of Ravenna. By the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024, another re-gasifier vessel with 5 billion cubic meters per year of capacity should be installed in Ravenna: it is the BW Singapore, purchased in July by Snam for $400 million. The Emilia-Romagna region unanimously approved the project in late October.



The final rush for strategic companies 

The game of appointments in state-owned companies is getting into full swing. By April 3, the Government must name new top management, or renew appointments. From Enel to Eni, from Leonardo to Poste Italiane, up to Terna, Enav and Mps. But also at stake are Fs Group‘s subsidiaries (more than 20 billion NRRP funds under management) and by 2023 at least 70 expiring boards of directors, it is more than 600 seats.

The Premiere explained in private she will decide on Eni and Enel. In public, she said she would like for the first time a woman as CEO of a leading company, perhaps Terna (Giuseppina Di Foggia, Nokia Italia, and Lucia Morselli, former Ilva, are mentioned).

There are few certainties. Claudio Descalzi will be reappointed as CEO of Eni. In his first months in government, Descalzi has developed a trusting relationship with Meloni.

At Enel Francesco Starace seems to have his bags packed. In pole is Stefano Donnarumma, current CEO at Terna. In recent days he has been seen with Paolo Scaroni, former CEO of Enel and Eni (sponsored by FI), who could be appointed president. For the CEO, the Lega is pushing for a different solution that is Flavio Cattaneo (Italo).

Leonardo is perhaps the most delicate match. Alessandro Profumo is to be replaced, after years of managers from sectors outside the company’s industrial perimeters. At first physicist Roberto Cingolani, a Minister in the Draghi Government and an adviser to Meloni, seemed projected toward the CEO position. Now his odds seem to have fallen in favor of Lorenzo Mariani, manager of European missile manufacturer Mbda, also controlled by Leonardo. Mariani is backed by Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, and is part of the rationale for returning the company to a manager who knows the industry well. The discussion between the three parties will have in the coming hours a second step during which they will also involve Poste Italiane where Matteo Del Fante should be reappointed.

he new heads of Fs’s two operating companies, Rfi and Trenitalia, choices over which former CEO Mauro Moretti still has considerable influence will need to be found. The game begins with the renewal of the board of Mps, Italy’s fourth-largest bank awaiting a larger partner. Rumors assure that CEO Luigi Lovaglio should be reappointed.

Meloni and the complication of appointments

It is the most disputedhence Meloni’s decision: advocating the Leonardo dossier, displeasing everyone, and calling into question even his first choice. Cingolani (at the suggestion of Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s sole undisputed manager) could be offered an equally prestigious role. There is talk of leading Eni Plenitude. The name of Ambassador Pontecorvo would be a serious option for Meloni. Ambassadors are the virtuous model of Undersecretary Giovanbattista Fazzolari. Managers desired by Meloni must be “immunized from supranational vanities,” and ambassadors, traveling the world, again for Fazzolari, are the few who are inoculated. 

In recent weeks, a new, unanticipated player entered and he is also an old player, perhaps the most skilled in this game of appointments. He is Luigi Bisignani, a man of relations and an old friend of Gianni Letta. Since Berlusconi officially appointed Letta, 87, to deal on behalf of Forza Italia, it is as if Bisignani also received the mandate. 

Berlusconi insists only on one name. It is that of Paolo Scaroni, destined to lead Enel, but he is a most unwieldy presence for any CEO. Indeed, the chairman sets the agendas of the board of directors and can be a countervailing power to the CEO if only that power can be wielded. 

Scaroni is also blamed for his past relations with Russia. For Enel it has always been written that Meloni wants Stefano Donnarumma, formerly CEO of Terna. He could thus remain at Terna while at Enel move an expert such as Luigi Ferraris, a former Terna CEO, and current Ferrovie executive. 

The Lega, from the split, seems instead destined for two public owned companies in addition to the presidency of Mps. It should go to Nicola Maione, a former outgoing councilor. Salvini wants to promote Igor De Biasio, who has two positions, member of the Rai Board of Directors and CEO of AreExpo. These are two positions whose compatibility is being debated. The loss of one role may open the way for him in a public participate company, strong with a solid bond with Salvini. The real manager, however, whom the Lega prides itself on and who is competing for a large investee is Enrico Pazzali, president of the Fiera Milano Foundation, a friend of Attilio Fontana. 

A treasure of appointments

Nearly 135 billion, about 22% of the entire stock market listing. That’s how much the capitalization of state-owned listed companies that are heading for the renewal of their top management and boards of directors amounts to. It starts on April 20, with Monte dei Paschi, Enav, and RaiWay, and closes by mid-May with Poste, Leonardo, Enel, Eni, and Terna. To date, the only manager who seems to have reappointment assured is Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi. For others, such as Enel’s Francesco Starace, there is talk of alternation with Terna’s Stefano Donnarumma, while for the post after Alessandro Profumo, at Leonardo, it would be a three-way race between former Minister Roberto Cingolani, helicopter chief Gian Piero Cutillo, and Mbda Italia’s CEO, Lorenzo Mariani. The latest news points to Rai‘s CEO, Carlo Fuortes, for the presidency of Poste, where there is now Maria Bianca Farina. 

Including unlisted public owned companies and those that will have to renew only their board of auditors, there are 105 companies under the Ministry of Economy (19 directly controlled and 86 indirectly controlled) involved in the most anticipated game of the season. Drawing these conclusions there is the sixth edition of the CoMar report: there will be 142 corporate bodies to be reappointed, including as many as 94 boards of directors and 48 boards of auditors. It means removing, replacing, or confirming-re an army of 610 people, including 403 directors and 207 auditors. At the same round, three years ago, there were 550 seats to be filled. Growing numbers can be explained by the increase in state interventions.

By way of example, new companies have sprung up, such as Ita-Italia Trasporto Aereo, Holding Reti Autostradali, the National Strategic Pole, Dri d’Italia (in Invitalia, for the steel supply chain and the former Ilva redevelopment). Others have been added to follow the green transition, such as Green.It (Cdp with Eni) and Renovit (Cdp and Snam), while Infrastructure Milano Cortina 2020-2026 is functional for the Winter Olympic Games. Still, on the subject of big events, the newco Giubileo 2025 has been established, open to the participation of other companies as long as they are always an expression of the Mef. 

Meloni and the doubts about Cattaneo 

Claudio Descalzi hopes that the majority will identify a non-encumbering figure as Eni chairman. After Lucia Calvosa it may be another woman’s turn. Some mention Elisabetta Belloni, but she does not seem at all willing to move prematurely from the coordination of the intelligence services. 

One of the key figures that could upset predictions, is Flavio Cattaneo. The well-informed claim that his heavyweight sponsors such as Ignazio La Russa and Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone have set their sights on him as Francesco Starace’s successor at Enel. His possibilities, however, have found opposition from Meloni. Meloni also believes that he is too close to a network that would range from Alessandro Daffina of Rothschild to Caltagirone, from Scaroni himself to foreign investment funds.

Fs’ CEO chosen by Draghi Luigi Ferraris is set to expire in 2024, and will not be changed. The Lega, however, will almost certainly name the new head of Rfi. Salvini has already met with “insiders” Vincenzo Macello and Umberto Lebruto. Experienced managers who are still in the Pioltello train disaster trial. In the meantime, the minister thinks of a top external figure and points to the number one of Trenitalia ( the name of Luigi Corradi is mentioned).

At Rai, Carlo Fuortes is still in the saddle, although some are certain that he will be replaced by the Roberto Sergio-Giampaolo Rossi duo as soon as Meloni finds him another suitable role (the superintendent of Milan’s La Scala Theater). While at Cassa Depositi e Prestiti the attack on the top management attempted a few months ago by Undersecretary Alessio Butti seems to have been shattered by Meloni. Palazzo Chigi will in all likelihood keep Dario Scannapieco in his role, hoping that the Draghian will be able to find the solution for the national fiber network game.


Net income at 5.4 billion euros, revenues, and investments grow

Despite the rather challenging historical context, Enel’s revenues, operating margin, and investments are growing, with a decisive advancement of the electrification and decarbonization process and a strong increase in new renewable capacity.

Enel Group revenues for 2022 were 140,517 million euros, an increase of 54,798 million euros (+63.9%) over 2021. EBITDA for 2022 amounted to 19,683 million euros, an increase of 473 million euros over 2021 (+2.5%). This is already an early example of a result above the Group’s guidance communicated to financial markets (of 19.0-19.6 billion euros).

Operating income amounted to 11,193 million euros, an increase of 3,642 million euros (+48.2%) compared to 2021, while net ordinary income amounted to 5,391 million euros, higher than the guidance communicated to the financial markets (of 5.0-5.3 billion euros). Also in line with strategic goals was net financial debt, which was 60,068 million euros. Investments increased to 14,347 million in 2022, +1,350 million over 2021 (+10.4%). 


Eni pushing biofuels in Europe

If Germany suddenly refuses electric cars as the only technology on which to base the decarbonization process in the EU, the Italian Government with a letter that the Ministers of Transport, Matteo Salvini, Environment, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, and Enterprise, Adolfo Urso, sent to Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission and top manager of the Green Deal, asks for an exemption not only for e-fuels but also for biofuels.

Biofuels are liquid or gaseous energy carriers, suitable for use in motor vehicles, produced from biomass, i.e., from the waste and residues of agricultural and forestry activities and related processing (including plant and animal substances), as well as the biodegradable part of industrial and domestic wastes and effluents. Biofuels are considered a renewable resource, as their production is essentially based on raw materials that can regenerate and reproduce in a short time.

Italy, mainly thanks to Eni, is quite advanced in biofuel research and production. The Porto Marghera refinery was converted to bio in 2014, and the one in Gela in 2019. The plants convert used and fried vegetable oils, animal fats, and oils extracted from dedicated crops and not in competition with agricultural production into high-quality green fuel, Hvo (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). At the Livorno refinery, Eni produces biofuel for aircraft, Saf (Sustainable Aviation Fuel).

The Six-legged Dog aims to produce 2 million tons of biofuels per year in 2025 to 6 million per year in a decade. Mainly in Africa, currently in Kenya, Mozambique, and Congo, with large plantations called agri-hubs of oil crops. Recently, the first load of vegetable oil produced in the Makueni agri-hub arrived at the Gela biorefinery from Kenya. The goal is to cover 35% of Eni’s biorefinery supply by 2025. Just recently, distribution began at 50 Eni service stations – to later reach 150 outlets in Italy – of HVOlution, a biofuel that is produced from waste feedstocks and plant residues.


Leonardo’s results

The Italian aerospace and defense group reported results from January 1 to December 31, 2022, approved by the Board of Directors chaired by Luciano Carta. Specifically, Leonardo reported a 58.5% increase in net income to 932 million. Revenues also increased by 4.8% to 14.7 billion, as did orders, at 17.3 billion (up 21%). In addition, the management of the company led by Alessandro Profumo announced financial estimates for 2023. The guidance for the current year includes orders at about 17 billion, revenues at 15-15.6 billion, EBITDA at 1.26-1.31 million, and debt at about 2.6 billion.


Atlantia becomes Mundys

Atlantia, the holding company controlled by the Benetton family, is changing its name and becoming Mundys. The announcement was made by Alessandro Benetton, chairman of Edizione, during the New Journey event dedicated to the company. 

Mundys aims to become the world’s leading group in the infrastructure sector, investing in sustainability, innovation, and quality of passenger services. Mundys is present in 24 Countries where it manages the transit of 3 billion vehicles, 60 million airport passengers, and 7.5 million Telepass customers, as well as the traffic systems of more than 600 cities including London, Miami, Singapore, and Bogota each year.


Snam’s Results

The gas distribution company led by Stefano Venier closes 2022 with a positive net income of 1.1 billion, basically holding up with the year before. The 2022 results were rated overall better than expected by leading investment houses. The group owned by Cdp Reti (31%) reported total revenues of 3.1 billion (up 11.1% from 2021), driven by growth in the energy efficiency business. As for adjusted Ebitda, which gives the company’s profitability figure, it came in at 2.23 billion (-0.6%). Snam expects Italian storage to be at 55% at the end of March. At the end of February, storage was at 60% versus 40% in 2021 and 45% between 2017 and 2021. 2022 storage volumes were well above 2021 and the historical average.


Terna approves the 2023 Development Plan

Enabling the achievement of the European objectives of the “Fit-for-55” package, fostering the integration of renewable sources, developing interconnections with foreign countries, increasing the level of security and resilience of the electricity system, and investing in the digitization of the grid. These are the cornerstones of the 2023 Development Plan for the national transmission grid presented today by Terna: more than 21 billion euros of investment over the next 10 years, 17% more than the previous Plan. Calculating the entire life of the works included in this Development Plan, beyond the 10-year horizon, the total amount of investments will exceed 30 billion euros.

The main new feature introduced by the 2023 Development Plan is the Hypergrid grid, which will exploit High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transmission technologies to achieve energy transition and security goals. In addition to the development work already planned, Terna has planned five new power backbones, functional for the integration of renewable capacity, with a total value of about €11 billion. This is a massive modernization of existing power lines on the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic backbones of the peninsula and to the islands, which includes new 500 kV submarine connections, an element, the latter, that represents a first for the company. 

In the new Development Plan, which has been published every two years since this year, Terna has included more than 30 infrastructure projects.


National Strategic Hub: Lazio Administrative Court rejects TIM’s bid

The Lazio Regional Administrative Court has declared inadmissible the bid submitted by the Temporary Grouping of Companies led by TIM in the procedure for awarding, through a public-private partnership contract, the construction and management of the National Strategic Hub (PSN). This was decided by administrative judges in a ruling handed down as part of the appeal brought by Rti Fastweb-Aruba. The realization of the infrastructure constitutes one of the cornerstones of Mission 1 of the NRRP. It is one of the three key objectives in the “Cloud Italy Strategy.”

At the end of the procedure, Difesa Servizi awarded it to Rti Fastweb-Aruba; subsequently, however, Rti TIM declared that it was availing itself of the envisaged pre-emption, committing itself without reservation to fulfill its contractual obligations under the same conditions as those offered by the successful bidder. 

The Tar focused on compliance with the requirements concerning the distance between the two pairs of ‘Data centers (DCs)’ provided by the order. “The offer of Rti TIM,” the judgment reads, “introduced an impermissible modification to what was prescribed by the procedure. At this point, TIM will appeal Tar’s ruling. The Consiglio di Stato could overturn the verdict.

The competitive process to buy Netco

Green light from TIM‘s board of directors for the competitive process to purchase Netco. This is the ‘non-binding offer submitted by the consortium formed by CdP Equity and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) Limited, acting on behalf of a group of investment funds managed or assisted by the Macquarie Group for the purchase of a constituent company to which the management and infrastructure perimeter of the fixed network, including the assets and activities of FiberCop, as well as the stake in Sparkle, would essentially belong. For the board, the offer, like the one submitted by KKR, “does not reflect the value of the asset and TIM’s expectations.” To allow the two bidders to submit their improved offers, the board mandated the CEO, Pietro Labriola, to initiate a regulated process, transmitting to both bidders, through their advisors, a process letter indicating the terms under which they will be given access to additional specific information elements, the same for both bidders; the forms through which each of them can submit by the deadline of April 18, 2023, a non-binding improved offer.

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