Trinidad and Tobago - Infrastructure, power, and communications



Although a small country, Trinidad and Tobago has a developed infrastructure, revolving around its oil and gas industries and other manufacturing. There are 8,320 kilometers (5,158 miles) of roads, half of them paved, with main routes covered by 4-lane highways. Even so, traffic congestion has been a problem since the boom period of the 1970s, especially since petroleum is extremely cheap. There are extensive port facilities at the country's 6 major ports, specializing in container, cargo, and cruise shipping, with special infrastructure for oil, gas, cement, and bauxite. Tobago has a general port with cruise-ship facilities. The international airport near Port of Spain has regular connections to Europe and North and South America. The national airline, British West Indian Airways (BWIA), was privatized in 1996, with the government retaining a 33.5 percent share.

Trinidad and Tobago is self-sufficient in energy and a major exporter of fuels. In 1998, the country produced 4.763 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and consumed 4.43 billion kWh. The availability of low-cost fuels has been instrumental in building up the country's industrial infrastructure. In terms of tourism, the infrastructure is less developed than elsewhere in the region. Telecommunications are still dominated by the government-owned Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), and competition is restricted. Independent Internet providers are obliged to use TSTT lines, and cellular phones are also monopolized by the state sector. Radio and television ownership is widespread, and there were 4 national TV stations in 1997, with satellite service widely available.

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