Seychelles - Infrastructure, power, and communications



The Seychelles has a well-established infrastructure in the northern Mahe group of islands, but not in the remoter group of coral islands to the south. After independence, the government made considerable efforts to expand its infrastructure in order to attract upper-middle-class tourists from Europe and North America. The concentration of the population in the capital of Victoria and in the few main islands made this task easy. In 1999, the major islands were served by a network of 424 kilometers (263 miles) of roads, of which 370 kilometers (230 miles) were paved. The country restricts car ownership through an annual quota system for auto imports. It is estimated that the total number of registered vehicles reached 9,394 in 1999. None of the islands have railways, and the islands' public transportation system relies on a bus fleet.

The country has 6 airports with paved runways and 8 with unpaved runways. The international airport at Pointe Larue was opened in 1971. The national air carrier, Air Seychelles, regularly flies to Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris, Rome, and Zurich in Europe, as well as to Dubai, Johannesburg, Mauritius, Nairobi, and Singapore. It operates a small fleet of 4 light aircraft servicing the inter-island routes and a fleet of Boeing aircraft for inter-continental flights. The islands are also served by some international air-carriers, including the British Airline, Kenya Airways, Aeroflot, Air Mauritius, and others. The main port and harbor is Victoria. The state-controlled operator uses ferries to link Mahe with Praslin and La Digue. Private schooners are also available for trips to some islands.

The Seychelles has no oil, gas, or coal resources and relies solely on imported petroleum. Only Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue islands have electricity; total power production was around 125 million kW in 1998, and there was a plan to build a new 50 mW thermal station.

Telecommunication services in the Seychelles have been under intensive reconstruction since the early 1990s. According to the local authorities, there were 19,635 telephone lines and a rapidly growing number of mobile phone subscribers (16,316 in 1999), although the CIA World Factbook lists considerably lower numbers of phone usage. The country had 1 Internet service provider (ISP) hosting 818 accounts in 1999.

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