FILE - A cat rests among pipes meant to be used for construction in terminated South Stream gas project, stored in the Black Sea port of Varna, Bulgaria, March 27, 2018.
FILE - A cat rests among pipes meant to be used for construction in terminated South Stream gas project, stored in the Black Sea port of Varna, Bulgaria, March 27, 2018.

SOFIA, BULGARIA - Bulgaria and Greece are launching the construction of a pipeline to transport Azeri gas to Bulgaria to ease its almost total dependence on Russian gas supplies.

At a ceremony near the border on Wednesday, the two prime ministers, Boyko Borissov and Alexis Tsipras, oversaw the formal start to construction of the 182-kilometer (114 miles) link between the two countries' gas transmission systems.

The pipeline is scheduled to become operational at the end of 2020, when Bulgaria is due to receive deliveries of Azeri gas from the Shah Deniz 2 development.

The link is estimated to cost 220 million euros ($245 million) and its projected capacity will be between 3 and 5 billion cubic meters (105-175 billion cubic feet) per year.