The new business plan at 2025 provides for increased investments, for a total amount of around € 3.7 billion.
Of the planned investments, € 1.6 billion, which is 40%, are directed towards regulated sectors in order to expand, modernise and digitalise network services, with particular focus on water treatment plants in the Liguria area, and to improve the quality of the municipal waste collection service.
A similar portion is made up of development investments, intended to facilitate the Group’s dimensional growth, and regard mainly the waste management segment through the development of selection and treatment plants, the extension of district heating networks and smart solution and digitalisation projects.
Finally, the remaining 18%, approximately € 650 million, is intended for maintenance investments.
From the point of view of sustainability, approximately € 2.25 billion, 61% of total investments, is allocated to projects that contribute to fulfilling the commitments made in relation to the SDGs of the United Nations and, in particular, 93% of these investments, more than € 2 billion, come together in the new vision of the multicircle economy, including the focus areas of the circular economy, water resources and resilient cities.
Over € 300 million is intended for digitalisation projects for all company areas, with the goal of increasing efficiency and streamlining the entire organisation and providing high value-added services to customers and citizens.
The annual average investments provided for in the plan are around € 600 million, higher during the first three years due to the repowering of the Turbigo thermoelectric power station, the creation of waste management plants and digital development projects. The modularity of the investments in development will enable the Group to seize possible market opportunities, adapting its investment plan.
The investment plan provides for almost € 1.3 billion to increase the efficiency and quality of services, with significant growth in RAB which will reach € 2.93 billion in 2025. 61% of investments destined for networks is allocated to the integrated water service, in order to make it more efficient thanks to the investments in water treatment plants, the installation of smart meters, the districtualisation and permanent monitoring of the network, actions that encourage a rational use of water resources, through a reduction of water leaks and a reduction in water withdrawn from the environment.
Unlike the previous one, the business plan 2020-2025 provides for the exclusion of gas tender procedures from the basic plan, owing to the low visibility on when they will start. Despite this, Iren’s commitment is to reconfirm the tender procedures in all areas in which Iren is the incumbent and possible participation in further tender procedures in the Group’s territories of reference.
The circular economy continues to be the guiding star for the waste management sector which, through the development of nine new treatment plants (plastic, paper, organic, wood and sludge) aims to increase waste treated in owned plants by 50% to 2.9 million tonnes a year, against an increase in waste managed of 3.7 million tonnes by the end of the plan. Self-sufficiency in closing the entire waste cycle will occur, not only by taking advantage of waste as a material for generating biomethane and secondary fossil fuels, but also through connecting all waste-to-energy plants to district heating networks.
Finally, development of a more efficient collection system will make it possible to offer better quality services to the public, reducing the associated environmental impact and supporting Iren's commitment to increase separate collection (over 70% in 2025). The best practices achieved in its established territories enable the Group to cross borders and grow at the national level, establishing itself as one of the main Italian players in the waste management segment, thanks also to the complete integration of the recently acquired companies I.Blu and Unieco and the related plant development plans.
ENERGY (GENERATION, DISTRICT HEATING AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY)
The medium-term energy situation will be characterised, in terms of demand, by modest growth in electricity consumption in Italy due to the combined effects of climate change, electrification and energy efficiency projects and, in terms of supply, by continuation of the energy transition, with renewables playing a greater role and a growing need for flexibility and adaptability in thermal power generation. The development of a new Turbigo thermoelectric plant line, supported by participation in the capacity market auctions, becomes part of the basic Business Plan.
Planned investments, totalling € 1,072 million, are mainly intended to increase the flexibility of plants, develop thermal and electric storage systems and further strengthen the leadership role in the district heating sector, exceeding 100 million cubic metres of volume heated in this way by 2022.
Growth in the energy efficiency sector is also planned, supported by investments of € 244 million and by the introduction of the 110% Superbonus, which will make it possible to accelerate the acquisition of new public and private customers at the national level.
Iren's commitment to full digitalisation of processes, development of digital payments, fully developing the IrenGo offer and increasing IrenPlus (formerly NewDownstream) products and services has the goal of further increasing the customer base also outside the territories of reference, reaching 2.4 million customers by 2025.
The territorial expansion of the customer base will occur with the objective of maintaining the churn rate among the lowest in the sector, thanks to the strong centrality of the customer-citizen, which is implemented through a multichannel and multibusiness approach, with offers increasingly customised on the real needs of the customer, strong attention to the customer experience and a notable push for innovation and digitalisation of services.