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PAPE‘ETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (July 14, 2002 - Tahitipresse/PINA Nius Online)---The government of French Polynesia has announced plans to establish a new harbor in Taravao, 61 kilometers (36.6 miles) from Pape‘ete.

The harbor will cost US$ 392 million and is to be built in two phases.

The first phase will cost US$ 207 million and will include facilities for about 200 tuna boats and a shipyard.

"The official opening of this part of the harbor should take place at the end of 2006 or in 2007," said French Polynesia's President Gaston Flosse. "The project will help us to achieve our goal, which is 30,000 tons of fish produced in 2007."

The second phase is still in the planning stage, acknowledged the president. It will cost US$ 185 million and will accommodate increased freight services.

The government of French Polynesia anticipates that France will support the harbor project through the Economic Restructuring Fund.

This fund was created after the end of France's nuclear testing program at Moruroa and Fangataufa (Tuamotu Archipelago) in 1996.

The new harbor will be the biggest project to be launched in French Polynesia since the creation of the nuclear test sites in the early 1960s.

The construction should generate 600 to 800 jobs.

Once the construction is completed, government officials say there will be about 3,000 people working in the new harbor area, creating a second major economic center in Tahiti after Pape‘ete.

A 44-kilometer road and two or three tunnels will be necessary to link Pape‘ete to the new harbor, a project that will cost more than US$ 308 million.

For additional reports from Tahiti Press, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources: Agence Tahitienne de Presse.

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