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BOISE, Idaho -- Areva still hasn't announced a partner to help build its proposed gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls.

If it can't find an investor, construction on the $3 billion project will likely be delayed until 2014.

By then, the French-based company says it will have restored its balance sheet sufficiently to build independently.

Areva hoped to build starting in 2011, before deep losses.

Then, it postponed activities until 2013 and began a partner search.

Spokesman Mike French said Areva is still seeking assistance.

If no suitable investor is found or steps forward, he says it could push construction back until early 2014.

French says Areva remains committed to Idaho Falls, continues engineering work and is confident existing contracts with U.S. utilities to buy its enriched nuclear fuel are intact.

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