CNR model

For sustainable development in the Rhone Valley

The 2014-2018 plan of CNR’s Missions in the General Interest aims to strengthen economic development and the emergence of new activities in the Rhone Valley.

transmettre-au-generations-futuresFormulated with its partners (the State, local authorities, associations and enterprises), CNR’s 3rd plan of Missions in the General Interest (MGI) has three main objectives, in line with the two previous plans :



  • Hand on an enhanced river and territoiries to future generations
  • Support economic developement in the Rhone Valley
  • Gather people together arround the river, to share its heritage and living

For the period 2014-2018, this plan is endowed with a budget of €160 M divided between four main areas of action:

  • Energy and sustainable mobility :  Small hydropower plants (SHPP) reconcile the increase of compensation water with pursuing the production of hydroelectricity. They contribute to augmenting the share of renewable energies in the French energy mix and their construction is associated with actions in favour of biodiversity and the creation of an electric corridor in the Rhone Valley for the fast charging of electric vehicles and experimenting with new “green” solutions in logistics and public transport.
  • Water resources and biodiversity : More is invested in the Rhone regarding the environment than any other river in France. It benefits from an original partnership between CNR, the Rhone Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency, the territories, the ONEMA and angling federations. Objectives : promote the balanced management of water resources and preserve the ecological wealth of the river. CNR also supports environmental research to develop new agricultural practices and share water use.
  • Economic and tourism development : CNR promotes tourism development projects in the territories and works alongside them to enhance their heritage and cultural dimensions. For CNR, this entails developing the tourism industry based on the wealth of the Rhone Valley, thereby generating economic spinoffs and creating jobs. It is also a way of attracting the population back to the banks along the river.
  • River transport : Since activity on the river contributes to the region’s dynamism, CNR aims to expand the role of the Rhone-Saone corridor to make it a major trading route between the heart of Europe and the Mediterranean. To do this, CNR is upgrading its port infrastructures and creating new multimodal enterprise zones. CNR is also developing the provision of information and services to skippers.

transport-fluvialNew challenges

Taking up the challenges facing French society relating to the environment, health and renewable energy will require the dynamism of its research, innovation and development. Thus CNR backs R&D projects integrated in public innovation strategies and in European, national and regional action plans.

The priority : employment

In the prevailing economic environment, CNR positions itself beside territorial stakeholders to stimulate job creation. The development of industrial tourism can generate new jobs, in the same way as the development of new technologies and services linked to sustainable mobility. Furthermore, CNR works alongside the territories by opening up specific perspectives of employment: training bargemen, the integration of marginalised persons through work, calling on the services of local enterprises and assisting the installation of enterprises.

Flagship actions

  • The locks of Chautagne (Savoie) and Belley (Ain): CNR has developed 57 km of continuous navigable waterway on the Upper Rhone for pleasure boats. The small hydropower plant of Motz (Savoie) commissioned in 2012.
  • The small hydropower plant of Motz (Savoie) commissioned in 2012
  • Modernisation of the port of Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône) to offer new combined intra-European transport services and receive boats up to 3,500 tons.
  • Second container terminal of Port de Lyon and extension of the rail network.
  • The wharf of Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhône): CNR builds wharves for river cruise liners, to further promote the boom in river tourism.
  • Installation of a navigation simulator at Port de Lyon to train skippers.
  • The bypassed section of the Rhone at Montélimar (Drôme): restoration of oxbows.
  • The eel pass of Beaucaire (Gard) to restore fish migration routes.
  • The fish pass of Comps (Gard) to restore fish migration routes.
  • The Bee and Company programme to preserve bees and pollinating insects in the Rhone Valley.
  • Support for Alternative Organic Techniques to experiment with new multi-crop systems.
  • Developments of the banks of the Rhone at Bellegarde (Gard) so that the neighbouring population can make the river their own.
  • The Arles-Rhône 3 Roman barge was salvaged from the bed of the Rhone with the logistical help of CNR. It is now exhibited at the departmental Musée d’Arles Antique (Bouches-du-Rhône) and is an example of how the heritage of the Rhone Valley can be showcased.
  • The Himalayan footbridge of Rochemaure (Ardèche): an example of how the architectural heritage has been preserved.
  • The digitization of the Saint-Bénezet bridge at Avignon, built between 1177 and 1185. An example of showcasing the cultural heritage of the Rhone Valley.
  • CNR has built the “Pilat Rhodanien white water stadium” to facilitate practicing water sports and host European competitions.
  • Jousts on the Rhône: CNR contributes to renewing this ancestral tradition by proposing electrically powered boats.
  • Nature and Fishing Workshops: more than 50,000 people have attended these events and 10,000 children have participated in the educative actions supported by CNR over the past ten years.
  • ViaRhôna is the longest route dedicated to soft transport modes in Europe. This cycle track follows the Rhone, from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean (815 km).

Jean-Jack Queyranne
President of the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council

The Missions in the General Interest have allowed CNR to fulfil its historic missions, produce hydroelectricity and manage navigation, while demonstrating its ambition to work in favour of the territories. In 10 years, CNR has shown its knowhow in rebuilding natural habitats, its involvement in preserving biodiversity and soft transport modes such as the ViaRhôna. CNR has used its unique corporate model to diversify its development missions and ensure that the adventure of the Rhone continues.

On the same subject