HOUSTON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Inc has halted the startup process of its liquefaction facility at Elba Island near Savannah, Georgia, following mandatory evacuation orders as Hurricane Dorian approached, Chief Executive Officer Steven Kean said on Wednesday.
The Houston pipeline operator began construction on the $2 billion facility in late 2016, underpinned by a 20-year contract with Royal Dutch Shell Plc for exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The company will resume startup operations at the LNG plant when workers can safely return to the island, Kean told investors at a Barclays energy conference in New York.
"We're making very good progress on Elba, and then Hurricane Dorian happened," Kean said.
As Hurricane Dorian moved toward Georgia's coast, the state's governor, Brian Kemp, extended a state of emergency to 21 counties, covering more than 900,000 residents. About 400,000 have been ordered to evacuate, according to the state Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.
Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston; Editing by Lisa Shumaker