Bulgaria is preparing to start operations of a strategic interconnector with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline in Greece this weekend that will connect the country with an alternative source of natural gas in Azerbaijan and also permit imports of gas from an LNG terminal on Mediterranean.

The new pipeline will permit Bulgaria and neighbouring states to partially replace Russian gas supplies that are delivered to the region via the TurkStream pipeline, crossing the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey.

Known as Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), the 180-kilometre pipeline project has been issued an operating licence in Greece and a permit-to-use in Bulgaria earlier this week, marking the receipt of final permissions ahead of the formal start-up of operations on 1 October, the project operator said.