Representatives of the two companies building liquefied natural gas terminals off the Salem and Gloucester shores shared their forecast of the economic impact of the projects with about 250 business and community leaders.
Excelerate Energy has begun constructing its Northeast Gateway deepwater port 12 miles out to sea from Salem. Vice President Jonathan Cook told yesterday morning's gathering the company anticipates spending close to $10 million annually to run the gateway.
That will include about $1.5 million in payroll, with the company looking to hire local people whenever possible. There will be additional cash infusions in the form of money spent on supplies and fuel and lease fees for the office space the company has taken in Shetland Park.
While the tankers delivering gas are docked at the terminal, crew members will be ashore staying in hotels and buying meals in local restaurants, Cook said. Ship supplies will be purchased locally, as well as all the fuel to keep the ships running.
Cook said total in-port spending will be about $1.7 million annually.
Excelerate also aims to hire more U.S.-born mariners from the area and reach a goal of 25 percent of its on-board personnel homegrown by 2012.
The company has also agreed to spend $23.7 million to mitigate any harm its operations may cause and to donate another $4 million to charities.
In all, Cook forecast the company will pump $85 million into the local economy in its first five years of operation.
Excelerate expects the first ship will dock at its terminal in December.
Suez Energy North America plans to begin work soon on its Neptune deepwater port seven miles southeast of Gloucester.
"It will have significant long-term impact on the North Shore's economy," said Tom Lockett, Suez's director of sales.
Although the company is international in scope, Lockett portrayed it as being deeply involved in the communities where it operates.
The company already operates an LNG facility in Everett, and Lockett said it has spent several million dollars on scholarships for Everett High School graduates and other local good deeds.
In Gloucester, Suez is spending $23.5 million to support the fishing industry and other local causes, Lockett said.
Each of the ships using the Neptune facility will have a $15 million annual budget, Lockett said, with the lion's share of it being spent locally on supplies, spare parts, fuel and maintenance.
The company will also have a firefighting ship in port, and it will be available to any area community in the event of an emergency.
Neptune's mere presence in the Gloucester Marine Terminal will boost the local economy by about $10 million over the course of 20 years, Lockett said.
Suez hopes to begin operating its terminal in 2009.