Hope grew Friday for the long-awaited start of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from British Columbia (BC) when two Asian participants in LNG Canada disclosed they are willing to foot their bills for the proposed Pacific coast terminal.

In regulatory filings, PetroChina Co. and Korea Gas Corp. reported their boards approved their partnership shares of costs for the Kitimat project. PetroChina is a 15% owner, while Korea Gas has a 5% interest.

A final investment decision is said to be imminent, with some anticipating it within the next few weeks. The BC government has given LNG Canada until November to accept an offer last March of a forecast C$6 billion ($4.8 billion) in provincial sales, income and carbon tax cuts as incentives to build the terminal.

Lead partner Shell Canada Ltd. (40%), Petronas (25%) and Mitsubishi Corp. (15%) had made no matching disclosures of construction cost commitments as of Friday afternoon.

Total project investment, for the export terminal plus BC natural gas drilling and a TransCanada Corp.’s supply pipeline, Coastal GasLink, has been forecast to grow eventually into the C$30 billion to $40 billion range ($24-32 billion).

The Chinese and Korean regulatory filings lit fires under predictions that the consortium will announce a final decision to proceed on the project as early as next week. Hope has been stimulated by announcements of conditional construction contract awards, native benefits agreements and Kitimat harbor dredging.