Below you find our glossary divided into subject areas.
It helps you gain a better undestanding of our financial statements and reports.
It gives you a depth knowledge of our work and our business sectors combined with the environmental and social aspects.
It contains words, abbreviations and terms that help you undestand better our communication with you and read more easily our statements and reports.
Annual Report Glossary
Adjustment Market – enables operators to introduce changes to the programmes defined in the Day-Ahead Market (DAM) by way of additional purchase or sale offers.
Standard used in the oil sector to measure density, expressed by way of a formula proposed by the American Petroleum Institute.
- CIP 6 TARIFF
Tariff paid by the GSE (Gestore dei Servizi Elettrici – national grid) to producers of electricity who use renewable and assimilated sources under the terms of the CIP 6/92 provision.
- COMBINED CYCLE
A system to maximise the efficiency of power plants by combining gas and steamturbines. The steam is obtained as a by-product of the process to generate electricity using gas turbines.
- CRACK SPREAD
The difference between the price of raw materials and the price of the main products expressed in USD/barrel.
Day-Ahead Market – trading session on the IPEX (Italian Power Exchange) during which blocks of hours of electricity for the following day are traded.
Treatment of oil fractions in order to reduce sulphur content in end products.
Dispatching Services Market – this is the instrument used by Terna S.p.A. to procure the resources required to manage and monitor the system (solution of inter-zone congestion, creation of power reserve, real-time balancing).
- EXCISE DUTIES
Indirect taxation on the production or consumption of certain products, including mineral oils or alcohol-based products, known as excise duty or excise tax and corresponding consumption surtax or surtax at the borders. Taxation is due at the time when a petroleum product is produced or imported and is exacted when the product is put on the market for consumption within the country.
- EMC (Energy Market Consultants)
EMC (Energy Market Consultants) is a London-based company set up in 1989 by a group of consultants with consolidated experience in their fields of specialization. Since then, the company has earned itself an excellent reputation for its original analytical capabilities and its accurate and independent view of the energy/oil and industrial market.
- FCC – FLUID CATALYTIC CRACKING - LINE
A catalytic cracking plant with a fluid bed.
- FEED IN TARIFF
Name adopted in the European incentive scheme to encourage investment in the conversion of solar energy into electricity through photovoltaic systems permanently connected to the grid.
- FINANCIAL LEVERAGE
Net financial indebtedness
Net invested capital
- GREEN CERTIFICATES
Annual certificates assigned for power generated from renewable sources using facilities that have come into operation after 1 April 1999. Each certificate is issued by Gestore dei Servizi Elettrici S.p.A. (GSE) in relation to the year’s output from renewable sources (estimated figures based on expected output or final figures) and can be used to comply with the renewable energy input obligation as regards the year to which it refers.
- HSE (HEALTH, SAFETY, ENVIRONMENT)
Internationally recognised English acronym,used to identify Health,Safety and Environment.
- HS FUEL OIL
High Sulphur content fuel.
International Accounting Standards – International Financial Reporting Standards.
Intra-day market - Place for trading offers for the purchase and sale of electricity for every hour of the following day in order to modify the electricity input and output programmes defined on the DAM.
- IGCC FEEDSTOCK
Heavy residues (asphalt) which are by-products from refining activities and are used as the basis for the generation of electricity at the IGCC plant.
- IGCC PLANT
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plant, integrated facility for the gasification of refining residues and combined generation of electricity and heat.
- JET FUEL
A type of aviation fuel for use in gas turbine powered aircraft.
- KILOWATT-HOUR (KWH)
A unit of energy equivalent to 1,000 Watts of power produced or expended for one hour of time. Energy is also expressed in Megawatt-hours (MWh), equivalent to one thousand kWh, Gigawatt-hours (GWh), equivalent to one million kWh, and Terawatt-hours (TWh), equivalent to one billion kWh.
- LIGHT – HEAVY CRUDE OILS
An approximate distinction made to classify the quality of crude oils based on their density in API degrees. This classification also gives some indication of the sulphur content and the yield. Light crude oils have a lower sulphur content and a higher yield in light/medium distillates, and the opposite applies for heavy crude oils.
- LPG (LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GAS)
Mixture of hydrocarbons, primarily butane and propane, which has a gaseous format ambient temperature and pressure and changes to liquid state if subjected to different conditions of temperature and pressure.
- Load Factor
The measurement used to assess a plant’s level of use; it is derived from the ratio between actual production in a given period of time and the plant’s maximum theoretical production in the same period.
- MARGINS (TOPPING REFORMING)
Margins (value of productsminus the cost of rawmaterial used) obtained fromthe processing of crude oil at the primary distribution (Topping) plant and the subsequent processing of virgin naphta, the lightest fraction coming fromthe topping process, at the octane upgrading plant (catalytic reforming plant) from which one of the main components of gasoline is obtained.
- MW - TWh
Millions of Watts – Billions of watt hours - a unit of measurement of a plant’s power generation capacity.
- NON-RECOURSE PROJECT FINANCING
Financing for a project which does not require guarantees from the shareholders of the company receiving the loan.
Oxides of nitrogen (especially NO and NO2). Gases mainly produced by the photochemical oxidation of nitrogen in the atmosphere and as a secondary reaction in the high-temperature combustion of fossil fuels. Together with sulphur dioxide (SO2), they are the cause of acid rain.
A refining process which,using catalysers, transforms paraffin and naphthalene hydrocarbons of Virgin Naphtha into components with a high octane count to produce gasoline.
- OFF ROAD DIESEL
Diesel fuel with a high sulphur content and colorant suitable for off-road vehicles.
- OHSAS 18001
Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series – internationally recognised standard that sets the requirements for occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. These requirements, applied at company level, are assessed by an external body, qualified to issue the relative Certificate of Compliance (Certification).
Over the counter.
- POST PAYMENT
Petrol pumps where the customer serves himself and then pays at the cash desk.
- REFINING AND ATMOSPHERIC DISTILLATION
Refining: the combination of processes that crude oil goes through to create the desired range of products.
Atmospheric distillation: the first stage of the refining process to separate the products at atmospheric pressure from the crude oil, through heat and the condensation of part of the product (semi-finished) by cooling.
Refinery interventions to improve or increase the processing capacity.
- SAP SYSTEM
An integrated IT management system, developed by the German company SAP, which covers all company processes.
- SOLVENT DEASPHALTING UNIT
A plant which produces asphalt using a solvent extraction process.
- SYNTHESIS GAS
Also called Syngas, it is a mix of hydrogen and carbon monoxide produced from the gasification of the asphalt feedstock of the IGCC plant. It powers the turbines to produce electricity.
Standard cubic metres
- TECHNICAL BALANCED DISTILLATION
Distillation capacity supported by secondary processing plants able to produce gasoline and diesel according to specific criteria.
- TOE (TONNES OF OIL EQUIVALENT)
A conventional unit of measurement, equal to 10 million kcal, used to express the quantity of any energy source, comparing its calorific power to that of crude oil.
- TOPPING PLANT
Crude oil refining plant used for atmospheric distillation.
- VACUUM GAS OIL
Type of fuel obtained from vacuum distillation of crude oil for lubricants.
- WTG (Wind Turbine Generators)
A device that converts the kinetic energy of wind into mechanical energy, which is, in turn, converted in electricity.
System capable of converting the kinetic energy contained in wind into mechanical energy, which is in turn used to generate electricity.
- BALANCED DISTILLATION
The distillation capacity with the support of secondary processing plants able to produce gasoline and diesel according to specific criteria.
- BUSINESS PROCESS REENGINEERING
Method of organisational analysis aiming to revise corporate business procedures, in order to optimise them and improve interfunctional interfaces.
- COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand)
Expresses the degree of pollution of water in terms of the amount of oxygen (in mg/l) required to oxidise completely the organic matter in waste water, including non biodegradable matter.
- COMPANY ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING
A system of information on flows of materials and energy between company activities and the environment, the management of such flows by the company, economic evaluation of that management, and the set of procedures that regulate the collection, analysis, processing and archiving of the data. In ERG, the environmental accounting system is integrated with health and safety data.
European organisation of petroleum companies with recognised competencies on questions of Health, Safety and Environment. Specifically, its studies are focused on the technical and economic implications of the refining, distribution and marketing of petroleum products in Europe.
- DIESEL/ GAS OIL
Diesel/gas oil is one of the main products of the primary distillation phase of petroleum. After strict processing procedures it can be used for spontaneous ignition motor vehicles (diesel) or for heating. The specifications of commercialised diesel/gas oil in Italy satisfy the EN 590 regulations.
Operation of progressive separation of the components of crude oil in the distillation column, at the base of which the crude is injected, through the flow in counter current of a liquid and a vapour that are respectively enriched by the heavier and lighter components.
- DNV - Det Norske Veritas
A Norwegian certification body founded in 1864 which currently has 4,700 employees and 300 offices in more than 100 countries. It specialises in certifying Quality Control systems and is SICERT recognised in 38 product sectors.
- EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)
Preliminary procedure by which the effects of a project on the surrounding environment are evaluated.
- EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
The agency for protection of the environment in the United States.
- "EXPANDER" UNIT
A unit which exploits the difference in the pressure of syngas used by the IGCC plant and allows additional electricity to be generated.
- FREQUENCY INDEX
Combined with the severity index, of the typical indicators of Health and Safety performance at the work place: for a given period of time, it expresses the relationship between the number of accidents and the number of hours worked.
- FUEL OIL
Heavy fraction from the refining of petroleum, used as fuel, ever more frequently in low sulphur qualities in order to limit adverse environmental consequences from emissions (chiefly SO2, NOx and particulates).
- FULL TIME PERSON EQUIVALENTS
Estimate of the number of people dedicated to a specific activity, obtained from the ratio between the total number of hours spent in one year on the activity by all those who perform it to some extent, and the total number of hours worked annually by one individual.
A mixture of hydrocarbons comprising fractions from different refinery processes. In ambient conditions of temperature and pressure it is in the liquid form.
- HSE (Health, Safety, Environment)
Internationally recognised acronym from the English words for Health, Safety and Environment.
- MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Organisation, planning, responsibilities, procedures, operating practices, processes and resources to prepare, implement, achieve, re-examine and maintain control over all internal and external variables.
Chemical compounds which particles are of dimensions between 10-3 µm and a few hundred µm. The smaller particles predominate in the exhaust gases from coal or fuel oil fired combustion plant; the larger particles are found in the exhaust gases of internal combustion engines, especially diesel engines, as a result of incomplete combustion.
- REFINERY RESIDUES
Heavy residues (asphalt) which are by-products from refining activities and are used as the basis for the generation of electricity at the IGCC plant.
The set of operations involved in transforming crude petroleum into derivates with different qualities (principally LPG, light petrol, diesel, kerosene, gas oil and residues).
A set of physical, chemical or biological actions to remediate contaminated subsoil (soil and groundwater) or to remove plant that is no longer in use in order to limit or eliminate risks to human health and/or the environment.
Return on average gross invested capital = operating cashflow/gross invested.
- SEVERITY INDEX
For a given period of time, it expresses the relationship between the number of days of temporary sickness associated with the accidents occurring and the number of hours worked.
Sulphur oxides (in particular SO2 and SO3). Their production is principally tied to the sulphur content of the fuels used, as well as to the weather conditions in which combustion occurs. They constitute the main cause of acid rain.
- TOTAL SUSPENDED SOLID (TSS)
Suspended material which, when above certain limits, alters the transparency of water.
Power plant consisting of gas-powered turbines.
- UNIONE PETROLIFERA
The Italian association of oil companies.
- VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)
These comprise the volatile fraction of the hydrocarbons in fuels and essentially are substances with between 4 and 8 carbon atoms.
- VSB VACUUM
Visbreaker Vacuum - a vacuum distillation plant for more thorough drying out of the Visbreaking plant residues at the ISAB refinery, obtaining products suitable for use as feedstock for other plants (eg. gofiner).
- AA 1000, Accountability 1000
This is a process standard developed by ISEA (Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability) in order to assess the ethical and social performance of an organisation.
An organisation practises accountability when it periodically reports and presents the results of its activities in a transparent way.
- CAUSE RELATED MARKETING (CRM)
This is a partnership between a business and a non-profit organisation. Its objective is to develop marketing initiatives and at the same time embrace a social cause.
- CODE OF ETHICS
This is the organisation’s charter. It is an official document entailing strong commitment and approval, which describes the values and principles that inspire and guide the company’s decisions and activities. It is the main reference source for company behaviour.
- CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
This is the set of rules and organisational structures that govern the relationships between directors, managers, shareholders and all other concerned parties, thus allowing the business to be correctly and efficiently managed.
- CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)
The Green Paper of the European Commission defines this as "a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. Being socially responsible means not only fulfilling legal expectations, but also going beyond compliance and investing "more" into human capital, the environment and the relations with stakeholders."
- ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT
This document, which is produced on a voluntary basis, reports an organisation’s environmental performance, namely the impact that it has on the environment in which it operates.
- ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
This is the effect, which may be positive or negative, total or partial, which a company’s activity has on the surrounding environment.
- ETHICAL RATING
This is a concise judgement about a company’s stock which may be a target for possible investment based on corporate and environmental responsibility criteria.
- GBS (Social Report Study Group)
A multi-stakeholder association that has developed Principles for preparing the Social Report.
- GRI (Global Reporting Initiative)
This is a network/organisation that has developed the world’s most widely-used sustainability reporting guidelines.
- GREEN PAPER
This was drawn up by the European Commission in 2001 and it focuses on the subject of corporate responsibility of companies, that is to say it highlights the importance of codes of conduct and the necessity for adequate planning and implementation of these voluntary standards, so that the minimum requirements imposed by law can be supplemented by voluntary measures.
- HUMAN CAPITAL
This is the set of knowledge, skills and character attributes embodied in the worker.
- ISO 14001 CERTIFICATION
This certificate of compliance is obtained by an organisation from an accredited certification body which is called in to assess the compliance of its environmental management system with the ISO 14001 standard. Certification is issued on a voluntary basis.
- ISO 9001 CERTIFICATION
This certificate of compliance is obtained by an organisation from an accredited certification body which is called in to assess the compliance of its quality management system with the ISO 9001 standard. Certification is issued on a voluntary basis.
- KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIs)
These are specific indicators used to assess and measure the extent to which a company has achieved its key objectives.
This is the raison d’être or purpose of the activities carried out by an organisation.
- OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Certification
This certificate of compliance is obtained by an organisation from an accredited certification body which is called in to assess the compliance of its health and safety management system with the OHSAS 18001 standard (Occupational Health & Safety Assessment Series). Certification is issued on a voluntary basis.
- SOCIAL REPORT
In this document, which is produced on a voluntary basis, the reporting of an organisation’s economic and financial performance is integrated with indicators relating to social factors.
- SA 8000 Certification (Social Accountability 8000)
This certificate of compliance is obtained by an organisation from an accredited certification body which is called in to assess the compliance of its system of management of social issues with the SA 8000 standard that is promoted by the SAI (Social Accountability International). Certification is issued on a voluntary basis and covers the following areas: child labour, health and safety at work, freedom of association and bargaining units, discrimination, disciplinary procedures, working hours and minimum wages. The certified company must guarantee compliance with the standard across its entire production chain.
- SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
This document is prepared on a voluntary basis and has a Triple Bottom Line approach in that it combines the reporting of the economic and financial performance of an organisation with environmental and social aspects.
This is an organisation’s ability to create value in the long term with a Triple Bottom Line approach.
Any person who can be easily identified and who may influence or be influenced by an organisation’s activities.
- STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
This is the activity of systematically involving stakeholders. The purpose is to share the organisation’s mission with the various stakeholders in such a way that the company’s objectives and stakeholder expectations become more closely aligned.
- SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The UN’s Brundtland Report defines this as: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
- TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
This approach integrates the economic and financial performance with the environmental and social performance so that the sustainable value created by an organisation can be measured.
This describes where an organisation wants to be in the future. It forms the basis for the criteria that guide the company’s entire strategic planning process.