St. Lucia - Infrastructure, power, and communications

St. Lucia is a small island with a relatively under-developed infrastructure, although the government has invested in modernizing road and port facilities since the mid-1990s. There are 1,210 kilometers (752 miles) of roads, but only about a half of these are paved. Many rural roads, particularly in the interior, are unpaved and vulnerable to landslides and storm damage. In 2000 the government began a large-scale project to resurface and upgrade 116 kilometers (72 miles) of primary and secondary roads. There are 2 airports, of which Hewanorra, in the south near Vieux Fort, is the main international airport, while George F.L. Charles airport, near Castries, receives mostly inter-island flights. The main commercial port is at Vieux Fort, where modernized deep-water container facilities were opened in 1993. In addition to commercial ships, cruise ships call at Castries, where there is a specially constructed duty-free shopping complex at Pointe Seraphine.

St. Lucia imports oil from Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela to meet its energy needs, and there is a large oil transshipment terminal south of Castries, used for re-exporting oil to other islands. In 1998 electricity production was estimated at 110 million kilowatts and consumption at 102 million kilowatts. Communications are generally good, but in early 2001 the island's dominant service provider, Cable and Wireless, was preparing to close after the government decided to end its monopoly . According to the World Bank, there were 268 mainline telephones per 1,000 people in 1998 and 136 personal computers per 1,000 people.

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