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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (September 29, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia has consigned its first shipment of recyclable waste to Asia, RFO-radio reports.

The French territory's waste management company, SEP, said the first consignments, totaling 268 tons of waste, were sent to Hong Kong and Djakarta (Indonesia), where they will be recycled to the Asian markets.

The waste has been carefully selected, sorted out and packaged for shipment in the past four months.

"This is a satisfying achievement. For a long time we have been trying to set up this new market," SEP General Manager Karl Meuel said.

Metal waste is being sent to Djakarta. Plastic and aluminum is going to Hong Kong.

But this trial shipment is so far not profitable. It cost SEP some 871,000 French Pacific Francs (about US$ 8,000) per ton to collect and send the waste to Asia.

"The market is definitely out there, but our waste quantities are limited. Also, we are far away from the main demand on that market. We had to negotiate everything, from transportation costs to the actual price of the waste per ton. Ten villages have already signed agreements with us to supply waste," Meuel said.

He hopes other villages in French Polynesia will follow suit.

The waste is processed locally at a newly built recycling center in Motu Uta (near Pape‘ete).

The first waste shipload consisted of 71 tons of newspapers, papers and magazines, 68 tons of mixed paper, 48 tons of paper boxes, 21 tons of bottles, 48 tons of scrap metal and 12 tons of aluminum.

"But there is still no definite long-term supply contract. SEP is still seeking other markets which would buy at better prices," he said.



PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (September 29, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia's new pay TV service, Tahiti Nui Satellite (TNS), is nearing the 5,000 subscriber mark after only three months of operation, the territory's Cabinet heard this week.

TNS, along with its sister company, Tahiti Nui Television (TNTV), was launched on June 29, as part of French Polynesia's Autonomy Day celebrations.

The companies are subsidized by the local government as part of a boost to modern telecommunication techniques and an ambitious so-called metu@ project, aimed at giving wide access to Internet.

TNS subscription packages include Internet access (TNS Internet) and three TV and radio services (TNS Thema, TNS Cinema and TNS Optima).

The first statistics about subscriptions were "well above any forecast," Cabinet ministers were told this week.

Last July, TNTV management rejected accusations that it was too dependent on French Polynesian government funding.

TNS and TNTV services have so far been sold through the territory's Post and Telecommunications Office (OPT) network, but will now also be represented by approved private companies to be selected shortly.



PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (September 29, 2000 - OFO)---French Polynesia's government is planning to upgrade Pape'ete's main wharf to keep up with the increasing tourism cruise luxury liner traffic, the government's press office said in a release.

The new extension is planned to meet ship traffic needs for the next 10 years.

Cruise liner traffic since last year has increased dramatically, with the arrival of two U.S.-based Renaissance luxury liners (Renaissance 2 and 3).

Over 30,000 cruise ship passengers visited French Polynesia during the first half of this year, according to the territory's latest official statistics.

In spite of the departure of the Windsong and Club Med 2, Haumana and Paul Gauguin - targetting the luxury market - chose the French territory as their permanent base in 1998.

In September and December 1999, they were also joined by two sister ships, Renaissance 2 and 3, which multiplied French Polynesia's overall cruise ship passenger capacity to a total of 1,810.



PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (September 29, 2000 - OFO)---The South Pacific Conference of Churches (SPCC) regional conference got under way Friday in Paofai village (Tahiti island) with communication and information technologies high on the agenda.

The conference is hosted by French Polynesia's Evangelic Church, which is being assisted by the Anglican Church’s WAC group.

In French Polynesia, some churches (including the Evangelic Church of French Polynesia) have already entered the age of information technology with newspapers and dedicated radios, but none of them has yet touched the Internet.

Nineteen representatives from the region's churches will also discuss related issues, such as press freedom and a more ecumenical reporting approach.

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