The Group is structured according to a model that envisages an industrial holding company (Iren S.p.A., with registered office in Reggio Emilia) and four companies responsible for the individual business lines, located in the main operating sites of Genoa, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Turin, Vercelli and La Spezia.
Iren S.p.A. is responsible for strategic, development, coordination and control activities, while the four Business Units (BUs) have been entrusted with the coordination and direction of the companies operating in their respective sectors:
- Networks, which works in the areas of integrated water cycle, gas distribution and electricity distribution;
- Waste Management, which carries out waste collection, urban hygiene, treatment and disposal activities;
- Energy, operating in the sectors of electric and thermal energy production, district heating, energy efficiency and technological services, public lighting and traffic light networks;
- Market, active in the sale of electricity, gas, heat for district heating and products and services in the field of home automation, energy saving and electric mobility for customers.
Integrated water services
IRETI, head of the Business Unit, directly and through its operating subsidiaries Iren Acqua, Iren Acqua Tigullio, ASM Vercelli and ACAM Acque operates in the water supply, sewerage and waste-water treatment sectors in the provinces of Genoa, Savona, Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Vercelli, La Spezia and in some other municipalities located in Piedmont and Lombardy. Overall, in the Ambiti Territoriali Ottimali (ATO, Optimal Territorial Areas) managed, the service is provided in 238 municipalities through a distribution network of 20,088 kilometres, serving almost 2.8 million residents. As regards waste water, the Networks BU manages a sewerage network spanning a total of 11,291 kilometres.
IRETI distributes natural gas in 70 municipalities of the Provinces of Reggio Emilia, Parma and Piacenza (including the capitals), in the Municipality of Genoa and in 20 other municipalities nearby. In addition, through ASM Vercelli it distributes gas in the city of Vercelli, in 10 municipalities of the same province and in 3 other municipalities in Piedmont and Lombardy. The distribution network, made up of 8,115 kilometres of high, medium and low‐pressure pipes, serves a catchment area of approximately 741 thousand redelivery points.
IRETI provides the electricity distribution service in the cities of Turin, Parma and, through ASM Vercelli, in the city of Vercelli with 7,849 kilometres of network in medium and low voltage, and a total of nearly 725 thousand connected users.
WASTE MANAGEMENT BU
Iren Ambiente, the head of this Business Unit, operates in particular in the sectors of waste collection, treatment and disposal in the historic Emilia catchment area, as well as managing a number of treatment and disposal plants in the provinces of Turin and Savona.
In addition, the Waste Management BU operates along the waste chain through companies located across other regions: AMIAT, ASM Vercelli (controlled by IRETI), TRM and Territorio e Risorse in Piedmont and ACAM Ambiente, ReCos and Rigenera Materiali in Liguria; San Germano instead carries out its main activity as waste collector in several regions, including Sardinia, Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna.
Again with reference to the territories in which the Group operates, the recently acquired companies of the so-called "Divisione Ambiente Unieco" (Unieco's Waste Management Division), located in a number of Italian regions (Emilia Romagna, Piedmont, Tuscany, the Marches and Apulia), are active in all stages of the supply chain: from intermediation to treatment and recovery, to the disposal of both municipal and special waste and, through the associated SEI Toscana, also in the collection of municipal waste.
Finally, I.Blu is active in the sorting of plastic waste for recovery and recycling and in the treatment of plastic waste for the production of Blupolymer (polymer for civil uses) and Bluair (reducing agent for steel plants).
The Business Unit therefore carries out all the activities of the municipal waste management cycle (collection, sorting, recovery and disposal), with particular attention to sustainable development and environmental protection confirmed by increasing levels of sorted waste collection; it also manages an important portfolio of customers to whom it provides all services for the disposal of special waste.
The Waste Management BU serves a total of 300 municipalities with more than 2.9 million residents in its operational areas. The integrated waste cycle is mainly made up of 3 waste-to-energy plants (TRM, owned by the company of the same name, in Turin, Polo Ambientale Integrato (PAI) (Integrated Environmental Hub), in Parma, and Tecnoborgo, in Piacenza, the latter owned by Iren Ambiente, which heads up the BU), 4 active landfills, 317 equipped technological stations and 52 treatment, selection, storage, recovery, biodigestion and composting plants.
On 30 March 2021, Iren Ambiente completed the acquisition of control of the associate Futura S.p.A. (Unieco Waste Management Division), which has a mechanical biological treatment plant and operates in Grosseto.
Production of electricity and heat
The Energy BU's installed capacity totals 2,728 MW of electricity and approximately 2,350 MW of heat. Specifically, it has 31 electricity production plants directly available to it: 23 hydroelectric (including 3 mini-hydro) plants, 7 thermoelectric cogeneration plants, and 1 conventional thermoelectric plant. The Business Unit has 95 photovoltaic production plants with an installed capacity of 18 MW.
With respect to thermal production, at Group level, more than 34% of the total thermal power serving district heating comes from the cogeneration plants owned by Iren Energia, the company that heads up this BU and produces 77% of the heat for district heating. The share of thermal power related to conventional heat generators is 57%, with district heating production at 13%. The remainder of 10% is produced by group plants not belonging to the Business Unit (waste-to-energy plants).
Electricity produced by plants fuelled by environmentally-friendly sources (renewable or high-efficiency cogeneration), which account for 70% of the Group's plant portfolio, amounts to more than 73% of all output. In particular, the hydroelectric production system plays an important role in environmental protection, as it uses a renewable and clean resource, without the emission of pollutants, and reduces the need to make use of other forms of production that have a greater environmental impact.
In 2020, a contract was signed with Ansaldo for the expansion of the Turbigo thermoelectric power plant through the design, supply and construction of a new gas-fired combined-cycle power generation plant, which will increase the site's total installed capacity from the current 850 MW to about 1,280 MW, project that was substantially completed in 2021 and will enter into operation in the early months of 2022.
Iren Energia also oversees the scheduling and dispatching of the Group's electricity production, as well as operations on the electricity exchange.
Iren Energia has the most extensive district heating network in Italy (1,091 kilometres of double pipe network), with 726 kilometres in the Turin area, of which 79 kilometres in the municipalities of Grugliasco, Rivoli and Collegno (Metropolitan City of Turin), 10 in the Municipality of Genoa, 221 in the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, 104 in the Municipality of Parma and 30 in the Municipality of Piacenza; the total volume heated amounts to 96.8 million cubic metres.
Energy efficiency services
Through its subsidiary Iren Smart Solutions, the Energy BU operates in the energy efficiency sector, designing, implementing and managing measures to reduce energy consumption; it provides energy services and global services for residential buildings, private and public facilities as well as industrial and commercial complexes, guaranteeing the maintenance and management of heating, air-conditioning, plumbing, sanitary, refrigeration, electrical and solar panel systems, as well as their design and installation. Iren Smart Solutions also handles the development and management of public lighting and traffic lights and similar services.
On 13 October 2021, Iren Smart Solutions signed a contract for the acquisition of 100% of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions Italy S.r.l., operating in the energy efficiency sector as an ESCo (Energy Service Company), specifically in the design, construction and management of integrated heating, air conditioning and cogeneration systems for public and private customers. The company, which operates mainly in northern Italy, will help expand, also in terms of know-how, the Group's activities in the energy efficiency sector, integrating the range of services offered.
Sale of electricity
Iren Mercato operates, in the context of the free market, all over the country, with a higher concentration of customers in Central and Northern Italy, and handles the sale of the energy provided by the Group's various sources on the market of final customers and wholesalers. The main Group energy sources available for its activities are the thermoelectric and hydroelectric plants of Iren Energia. The company also operates as the operator of the “greater protection” service for retail customers on the electricity market in the city of Turin, the territory of Parma and the catchment area of the municipality of Sanremo (IM).
The retail and small business electricity customers managed are over one million, distributed mainly in the traditionally served basin of Turin and Parma and in the other areas commercially covered by Iren Mercato and ATENA Trading.
Sale of Natural Gas
Retail gas customers managed by the Market Business Unit amounted to more than 954 thousand, mainly throughout the traditional Genoa, Turin and Emilia Romagna catchment area and surrounding development areas, Vercelli, the Campania region (through ATENA Trading and Salerno Energia Vendite, respectively), and La Spezia. In particular, Salerno Energia Vendite is present in almost all the provinces in Campania as well as in a number of municipalities of the Basilicata, Calabria, Tuscany and Lazio regions.
From July 2021, with the acquisition of 100% of the quota capital of SidIren S.r.l. operating in the sale of natural gas, Iren Mercato has extended its gas customer portfolio to 78 municipalities in the province of Avellino.
Sale of heat through the district heating network
Iren Mercato manages the sale of heat, purchased from Iren Energia, to district heating customers in the municipalities of Turin, Nichelino, Beinasco (Turin area), Genoa, Reggio Emilia, Piacenza and Parma and the commercial development in the areas of new district heating installations.
The commercial offers that complement the sale of commodities include the “New downstream” business line, for the marketing to retail customers of innovative products in the area of home automation, energy savings and the maintenance of domestic systems, and “IrenGO zero emissions”, the innovative offer for electric mobility aimed at private customers, companies and public bodies with the objective of reducing the environmental impact of travel. In this respect, the Group has also experimented with the potential and benefits of e-mobility by launching a series of internal initiatives such as the installation of charging infrastructures and the gradual introduction of electric vehicles. All the IrenGO internal and external electric mobility initiatives benefit from 100% green energy supply deriving from the Group’s hydroelectric plants.