A significant infrastructure investment program, financed by national and international resources, is underway to improve Haiti’s connectivity, both internally and externally. This program seeks not only to replace infrastructure destroyed as a result of the 2010 earthquake and other recent natural disasters, but also to create new infrastructure that will meet the needs of this growing economy.
Ground transport is the main internal mode of transportation for passengers and goods as well as for trade with the Dominican Republic. The national road network comprises 3,608 km, consisting of 950 km of primary or trunk roads linking major cities (Routes Nationales (National Routes)- RN), 1,315 km of departmental or secondary roads and 1,343 km of tertiary or rural roads. More than 700 km of roads have been constructed and renovated since the start of the Martelly administration with the major towns and cities now connected by a strong paved road network.
There are several major initiatives underway to further improve crucial road networks. For example, recent improvements have been made to the RN1, which links Port-au-Prince to Haiti’s secondl argest city, Cap-Haïtien. A full upgrade of RN1 is expected to be completed by 2018. Another major project is the upgrade and paving of the RN7 between the southern departmental capitals of Ley Cayes and Jérémie and their respective agricultural regions in the south and Grande Anse departments.
In addition to those specific projects, the government is placing significant emphasis on strengthening the road maintenance capacity of the Ministry of Public Works, Transport, Energy, and Communications (Ministère des Travaux Publics, Transports et Communications - MTPTC).
Haiti’s main international airport, Toussaint Louverture International Airport (TLIA) in Port-au-Prince, has direct international flights to four U.S. cities (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York, and Atlanta), Canada, Panama City, and Paris via the Dominican Republic and Guadeloupe. There is also an extensive network of flights to other cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Approximately 20 airlines operate out of TLIA with over 230 international flights to 16 cities per month.
With its Class II classification, TLIA is able to accommodate large transport aircraft. The number ofpassengers arriving in TLIA has close to doubled since 2005, now totaling well over 1 million per year. Airport facilities in Port-au-Prince are currently being renovated at a cost of US $15 million. In addition to a new arrivals terminal, which was inaugurated in late 2013, a master plan is being developed to fully modernize the TLIA facility and accommodate further expected increases in air passenger numbers.
Haiti’s main international seaports are located in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien. The port of Port-au-Prince is currently the main port for container traffic and general fractioned freight, with specialized docks and warehouses. The Port-au-Prince seaport moves nearly one million tons of freight annually. An international firm is currently undertaking a US$ 69 million renovation of one of the main docks, including a new 410m wharf.
A recent decision to update the seaport at Cap-Haïtien means Haiti will soon have an upgraded port on the northern coast to serve the manufacturing facilities located at the Caracol Industrial Park. The Haitian government announced a US$ 65 million renovation plan for the port of Cap-Haïtien in August 2014. To date, much of Cap Haïtien cargo is dispatched through ports in the Dominican Republic.
The newest addition to Haiti’s port facilities is the privately-owned Port Lafito, which will be fully operational in 2015. A subsidiary of GB Group and managed by SSA Marine, Port Lafito is a greenfield multipurpose panamax port and terminal handling containerized and loose-bulk cargo.
Major shipping companies such as Maersk Sealand, Seaboard Marine, Antillean Marine, and Evergreen already serve Haiti. Air cargo carriers such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, and Amerijet are also present.
There is a huge need for both public and private sector investment in Haiti’s electricity sector, particularly in renewable energy. Haiti currently suffers from an insufficient installed capacity of just 313 MW with only 60% of that electricity stable. The current electricity demand in Haiti is estimated to be around 500 MW throughout the country.
There is no national grid, with electricity being provided by both the national electricitycompany (Electricité d’Haïte (Haiti Electricity) - EDH) and private producers on nine grids around the country. In addition to the EDH production, there are three Independent Power Producers (E-Power, Sogener and Haytrac) which together generate 82 MW. Caracol generates its own electricity on-site, while each of the free trade zones also has the option to self-generate. Most of the power generated is currently from heavy fuel oil or diesel, though, in the absence of a centralized grid, there is considerable potential for renewable solar, wind, hydro, and biomass power generation.
Opportunities exist to invest in the electricity sector, particularly in relation to renewable energy projects, given Haiti’s considerable solar, wind and biomass power potential. In terms of solar power, Haiti’s solar resources are particularly strong and consistent throughout the year. Major energy consumers such as the University Hospital Mirebalais predominantly source their power from solar panels, and are even able to feed excess power into the local grid. The solar energy sector should be seeing a significant boost in investment in the coming years. Similarly, several locations in Haiti, including Lac Azuéi to the east of Port-au-Prince, are particularly suited to wind energy projects.
In addition to promoting investment in renewable energy, the government is also seeking to modernize EDH and improve its performance. In June 2014 it launched an international call for tenders for the grant of a concession for the production and distribution of electricity in the south-eastern region.