Italy’s state-controlled gas grid operator Snam is planning to invest €3.7bn ($3.76bn) to strengthen the country’s gas network, reported Reuters.

The investment is aimed at improving facilities for gas supply from the south to northern Italy and boosting imports from Africa.

Snam CEO Stefano Venier was quoted by the news agency as saying that the firm plans to complete the project to build the Adriatic pipeline by 2027.

Venier added: “It is an extremely important project.”

Following Russia’s military war against Ukraine, the Italian Government has agreed to secure more gas from Egypt and Algeria to replace Russian gas.

To increase gas production, Snam has been ordered by the government to acquire two new floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals.

The firm has also been asked to help in filling gas storage tanks in the country.

Venier said the company, along with investments to improve gas transport, will develop a project to create new gas storage sites in northern Italy.

Snam recently received a permit to build a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in the Tuscan port of Piombino in the spring, and a second FSRU off the coast of Ravenna in 2024.

The company recently reported an adjusted net profit of €932m for nine months of 2022, down from €938m in the same period a year ago.

Total revenue increased to €2.4bn, from €2.17bn, reported for the first nine months of 2021. EBITDA stood at €1.70bn.

Venier said: “The strong performance of our entire Italian business despite the reduction in regulated rates in the gas segment, the contribution of our foreign associates, and the new businesses connected with the energy transition have contributed to the stability of our profits and enabled us to confirm the group’s guidance on net profit for 2022 as a whole.”

Snam manages the gas grid and the bulk of Italy’s gas storage, and also operates a pipeline network of approximately 41,000km spanning across Italy, Austria, France, Greece, and the UK.

Earlier this year, Snam announced that it had acquired an FSRU from Bermuda-based LNG shipper Golar LNG .