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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (January 3, 2000 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---Vehicle owners in French Polynesia will have to gradually tune their engines to use unleaded fuel only, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

But to allow time for older vehicles to adapt to the change at service station pumps effective January 15, local officials are recommending a special mix, called "Valvemaster," be added to the engines with every unleaded gas refill.

The move also means "super" fuel will no longer be distributed.

Mobil's local general manager, Luc Pedebidou, said the most affected vehicles represent about a quarter of the entire car fleet in French Polynesia.

"The problem is greater for vehicles that are over fifteen years old," he said.

La Dépêche notes that French Polynesia's final switch to unleaded gasoline comes some thirty years after the United States, five years after Europe and a few months after the other major French Pacific territory of New Caledonia.

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