The Copperleaf® solution is now live at Società Gasdotti Italia (SGI), a natural gas pipeline operator in Italy. We spoke to Raffaele Maiello, Chief Operating Officer at SGI, Antonio Serlenga, SGI’s Head of Technical Support and Dispatching, and John Harvey, ESG Practice Lead at Copperleaf, to discuss how the solution is supporting the organisation to optimise investment planning, manage asset risk, and facilitate the energy transition.
Can you tell us a bit more about Società Gasdotti Italia?
Raffaele: Società Gasdotti Italia is the second largest natural gas transmission system operator (TSO) in Italy. Our network consists of approximately 1800 km of high-pressure gas pipelines, primarily located in Central Italy. We transport natural gas to around 300 end customers through national and regional gas pipelines. We recently updated our strategic plan, outlining actions to support our strong commitment to the energy transition by developing technologies enabling the transport of green gases—notably biomethane and hydrogen. Our main ambition is to facilitate the energy transition while ensuring the security of supplies to the territories we serve.
Can you share a bit about your role?
Raffaele: At SGI, I am the Chief Operating Officer overseeing operational process management from service contract negotiations with users to metering, dispatching, and infrastructure management. My role in the project has been to lead and supervise strategic decisions regarding the assessment of the health of our pipelines and the implementation of the investment plan through Copperleaf.
Antonio: I have been the Head of Technical Support and Dispatching at SGI since January 2022. I am responsible for planning activities within the project team and coordinating the implementation of Copperleaf at SGI.
John: As the Project Manager, my role in the project was to advise SGI on how to implement Copperleaf Asset™ to best meet its needs. The first phase of the project focused on developing the Failure Modes, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) models and applying these to pipelines and valves asset types. The Copperleaf team worked closely with SGI to define and implement these models, which went live at the end of 2023. The second phase of the project is currently underway.
What did your asset investment planning process look like before implementing the Copperleaf solution?
Raffaele: SGI’s business, as a pure TSO, is entirely regulated by ARERA, the National Authority for Regulation of Energy, Networks, and the Environment. Our investment plans—involving projects of strategic interest for the country—undergo a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Before the implementation of our decision analytics tool, these plans were developed using simplified calculation models.
What were the main goals for this project?
Raffaele: Through the developed solution, we have the opportunity to define both annual and multi-year investment plans, considering various parameters that allow us to:
- Define the optimal maintenance plan
- Assess the health status of transport pipelines precisely
- Define the investment plan with a focus on maximising value, modelling it based on technical and economic constraints.
John: The overall goal of this project is to provide SGI with a monitoring, evaluation and decision support platform that enhances their asset health, risk, and investment management processes. SGI is interested in constantly monitoring its assets, and making informed investment decisions that are in alignment with KPIs set by the regulator and other stakeholders.
Having the honour of collaborating with skilled people in Copperleaf has been essential to complete the project plan within the expected time frame. The experience of the Copperleaf team ensured that our objectives were met and we are extremely satisfied with the work we’ve completed together so far.
Chief Operating Officer
Why did you choose to work with Copperleaf?
Raffaele: The choice of Copperleaf stems from a detailed analysis and comparison of various market options, prioritising customer-based solutions that could meet the tight timelines for the entire project’s implementation.
What do you think made this project successful?
Antonio: The SGI and Copperleaf project teams both contributed to the creation of a working environment based on transparency and trust. There was a common goal to explore the issues of safety and security with natural gas assets, and eagerness from both sides to adequately develop and customise the solution to fit SGI’s requirements.
John: The Copperleaf team thoroughly enjoyed working with SGI throughout the project. The team was motivated to collaborate, cooperate, and produce the best possible project outcome. The continual commitment to quality and responsiveness helped drive the project forward.
What are the key benefits you think you will get out of implementing the Copperleaf solution?
Raffaele: Copperleaf will help us monitor gas grid conditions by assessing the status of our assets, the probability of defects, and the potential consequences thereof. The solution analyses current risk exposure as well as how this risk exposure can change and evolve over time, and allows us to monetise any impacts related to the event of failure on specific assets. This new evaluation approach provides accurate and up-to-date information on the health of an asset, as well as meaningful indicators to represent the reliability, safety, performance and environmental costs/benefits of the gas grid.
John: The Failure Modes, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) models implemented in Copperleaf Asset have enabled SGI to measure asset health, and the impact of interventions (e.g. replacements) on asset health in a systematic way. This provides insight into the state of assets across their network and helps them to plan maintenance and replacements in a way that maximises value and best meets the needs and expectations of stakeholders.
Have there been any other benefits?
Antonio: The Copperleaf Value Framework allows us to compare different intervention alternatives which consider constraints, costs, targets etc. This enhances our investment decision making for the entire transport system, as we can quickly and easily identify investment candidates that manage risk and maximise value. The FMECA models have also been developed in a way that allows for future configuration, providing us with the flexibility to easily expand the models to meet the future needs of stakeholders.
How would you describe working with Copperleaf?
Raffaele: Having the honour of collaborating with skilled people in Copperleaf has been essential to complete the project plan within the expected time frame. The experience of the Copperleaf team ensured that our objectives were met and we are extremely satisfied with the work we’ve completed together so far.
What is next on your asset management journey?
Antonio: We are entering the next phase of our implementation of the Copperleaf solution, with additional features specific to SGI, including dashboards and real-time reporting. We are also integrating Copperleaf with our GIS (Geographic Information System) to view the geospatial data from the calculation models, and allow us to effectively share the results with stakeholders.
Learn more about our client success stories and how organisations are improving their business outcomes with Copperleaf.