Bilys has said in an interview to BNS that the project has strong backing from the European Commission.
"I think that a final investment decision could be made next year. Steps will have to be taken by the management bodies of Amber Grid and (Poland's gas transmission system operator) Gaz-System. Also, these decisions will have to be approved by the national regulatory institutions of the (three) Baltic countries and Poland, because it is a regional project and European procedures provide for a certain sequence of steps to be followed," he said.
Bilys said that the authors of a feasibility study have already assessed the project's impact on the regional gas market, as well as its cost and the need for EU funding, and now final decisions are being awaited from all institutions.
"Steps of how the project is to be implemented have been discussed with and approved by the European Commission. In keeping with these agreements, appropriate studies have been done to assess both the possible impact of this project on the region's gas market and the basic conditions under which the project can be implemented, and the cost of the project and the need for EU support funds. We are now on the doorstep of key investment decisions," he said.
Bilys said that the feasibility study has been completed and is now being presented to the European Commission, state institutions and the management of the companies. The study is to be presented to the general public in the near future.
An environmental impact assessment study, partially funded by the EU, is to be launched in the near future, the CEO of Amber Grid says.
The feasibility study was performed by Poland's energy company ILF Consulting Engineers Polska.
Based on preliminary estimates, the cross-border gas pipeline would be 534 kilometers long and would have an annual capacity of up to 2.4 billion cubic meters of gas, which could be raised to 4.1 billion cubic meters at a later stage.
The pipeline is estimated to cost around 550 million to 600 million euros, including additional infrastructure.
A business environment study carried out earlier showed that the project would be beneficial to the region. Construction on the pipeline should start in 2016 and be completed in 2018.