CNR model

The CNR model

CNR stands out due to its unique industrial model that places territorial development at the heart of its strategy and is part of a global vision. It is based on a subtle balance between economic profitability and the collective interest, private and public capital, electricity production and the development of the territories crossed by the Rhone.

Sharing water and reconciling different uses

reunir-les-usagers-du-rhoneThis model is built on consultation between the stakeholders, reconciling the uses of water and redistributing the income generated by electricity production, which finances the navigable waterway, the irrigation of the valley and the missions in the general interest. Thus CNR has created a 330 km corridor for river transport from Lyon to the Mediterranean, equipped with port infrastructures and enterprise zones. It also irrigates thousands of hectares of farmland all along the river and provides the territories with leisure infrastructures for developing tourism, while participating in preserving the environment.

Missions in the general interest

In 2004, CNR launched its missions in the general interest (MGI) to strengthen this model and initiate or participate in investments for the public interest. The objectives of these missions is to:

  • Assist economic development, innovation and employment in the Rhone Valley;
  • Gather together the river’s users, the neighbouring population and all the stakeholders around the common good embodied by the Rhone;
  • Hand on an enhanced river and territory to future generations.

The choice of an integrated model

centre-d-optimisation-et-de-conduite-de-la-production-intermittente-lyonCNR possesses all the in-house competences it requires to maintain its performance and future. Thus we control the entire value creation chain: the development of assets, carrying out studies and designs, maintenance, the operation of installations, the optimisation of production, selling the production generated, and managing the associated risks.

A balance between public and private interests and sharing the wealth created

The CNR Model is participative, based on sharing between the State, local authorities, the population neighbouring the river, and its shareholders and employees. CNR is the only concessionary to pay the State a hydropower fee amounting to 24% of its turnover, i.e. €127 M in 2016. In addition, there is the fee on water, and various taxes and duties, amounting to a total of 50% of its turnover. The profits are then distributed between its shareholders (ENGIE, Groupe Caisse des Dépôts and local authorities) and its employees by virtue of the profit sharing scheme.


Elisabeth Ayrault
Chairwoman and CEO of CNR

The pertinence of the CNR model, a unique system of sharing between the State, the territories, the neighbouring populations, and its shareholders and employees, now makes it an exemplary enterprise ready to take up the challenges of energy transition


  • A company in the service of territories and energy transition

  • Energizing the territories


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