Utilities of St Kitts and Nevis
Until 2008 St Kitts and Nevis was entirely reliant on electricity generated from imported oil, processed using diesel fuelled generators. More recently explorations have begun into renewable energy resources. The two islands have completely separate energy systems – the St Kitts Electricity Department is a government-owned utility company responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity on St Kitts. The Nevis Electricity Company is a public–private company that provides the same services on Nevis.
There is no independent regulatory body, with the Ministry of Public Works, Housing, Energy and Utilities, as well as the Ministry of Finance, Sustainable Development and Human Resource Development, responsible for the development and implementation of energy policy.
All of St Kitts and Nevis’ oil supply is imported. Private company SOL EC distributes and supplies fuels and liquid petroleum gas under the Shell brand under license. Other oil companies on the islands include Texaco and ExxonMobil.
Ninety-nine per cent of the population use an improved drinking water source and 96 per cent have adequate sanitation facilities (2010). The islands largely rely upon surface and groundwater sources for water supply. The St Kitts water supply system comprises several surface water intakes and wells, while Nevis’ water supply comes mainly via mountain spring intakes. Sewage treatment in the country is limited – residents are largely dependent on septic tanks, soak-aways and pit latrines.
The Water Department works under the Ministry of Public Works, Utilities, Transport and Postal Services to maintain control over water production and utilisation. Tap water is treated for purification and is generally considered safe to drink, however there is also a market for bottled water, with private company Aquavita operating in the region.
St Kitts and Nevis has a well-developed telecommunications sector for a small country. The state-owned St Kitts–Nevis Cable Communications Company offers internet and fixed line telephone services. There are two main private telecommunications providers, Digicel and LIME, a prominent regional company in the Caribbean. The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority promotes market liberalisation and competition in the region, and its work is complemented by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of St Kitts and Nevis.