A gas pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria, designed to help Sofia cut its dependence on Russian gas, could begin commercial operation this month, Reuters reported.
The Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector, which has faced several administrative hurdles in recent years, is important for the energy security of Bulgaria, which lost Russian gas after refusing to pay in rubles.
The €220 million pipeline will transport gas from the northern Greek city of Komotini to Stara Zagora in Bulgaria and will be connected to another pipeline carrying Azeri gas.
Speaking at a conference in Athens, Greek Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said construction work had been completed and he would travel to Komotini on Friday for the inauguration of the project with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Bulgaria is using the LNG terminal in Athens to cover part of its gas needs and has stepped up talks with Azerbaijan to increase gas supplies.
The 180 km pipeline was built by a joint venture between Bulgarian state energy company BEH, Greek gas company DEPA and Italy's Edison.
Its capacity is 3 billion cubic meters, and in the future it is planned to increase it to 5 billion cubic meters.