Visit of the CEO of Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) to Lao PDR
Mrs Elizabeth Ayrault, CEO of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) conducted on 20 and 21 November her first international trip to Laos.
Along with the French Ambassador Mr Yves Carmona, she met several Deputy Ministers : Mr Viraphon Viravong (energy), Mr Saleumxay KHOMMASITH (foreign affairs) and Mrs Monemany NHOYBOUAKHONG (natural resources). It was an opportunity for the CEO of the CNR to remind the long history of the company in Laos and to express her will to continue and deepen its commitment with the Lao government.
For 20 years, the CNR has been present in Laos through its engineering, providing its expertise in design and exploitation of run-of-river hydroelectric facilities. In 1993, the CNR completed the study of the potential of the run-of-river hydroelectric projects. This study serves as a reference today for all planned or ongoing projects in Laos.
In 2009, CNR Engineering conducted a study for the Lao government on the hydraulic optimization of the chain of development facilities planned upstream from Vientiane.
At the request of the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines, the CNR is currently assisting the developer of the Xayaburi project as an expert. This mission follows the independent expertise conducted by the CNR in the fields of hydrology, navigation and sediments transit. Mrs. Elizabeth Ayrault and the French Ambassador visited the construction site of Xayaburi on Thursday, November 20th.
During her talks with the Vice-Ministers, Mrs Elizabeth Ayrault discussed areas of activity that the CNR intends to propose to the Lao government in order to continue this long-term cooperation. For three months, the CNR has had a new representative in Vientiane, Mr Benjamin GRAFF.
The CNR offers to provide the Lao Government with technical assistance in the following areas :
- Assessment of run-of-river hydroelectric projects (hydrology, sediment transport, navigation, dam safety) in the perspective of the creation of a chain of facilities hydraulically connected on the main Mekong River’main watercourse upstream from Vientiane,
- Support to operational activities (sampling campaign, physical modelizations in CACOH, the integrated laboratory of the CNR, environmental monitoring...),
- Development of a training program for Lao engineers and technicians,
- Transfer of technology, expertise and experience of 80 years on the Rhone river by the CNR, including raising awareness among people living near the river, and pedagogy concerning the environmental impacts of the infrastructure development on the waterway.
- Support to the search of European financial partners
Finally, the President of the CNR informed her interlocutors about the future Observatory of Initiatives for the Future of the Great River, launched on the occasion of the 80 years of the CNR in October. The Observatory will be chaired by French economist and academician Erik Orsenna. It will bring together representatives of world rivers and experts on issues related to these rivers and will aim to reflect on their role (economic, cultural, social...)
Elizabeth Ayrault has planned to come back to Laos on spring 2015, in order to implement these commitments and to continue the long-standing cooperation with the Lao government.
The Compagnie Nationale du Rhône is the first French producer of 100% renewable electricity (water, wind, sun) and the multi-purpose dealer of the Rhone from the Swiss border to the Mediterranean Sea : hydropower production, deployment of navigation and port areas, irrigation and other agricultural uses.
As a limited liability company pursuing objects in the general interest, the CNR has a unique industrial model based on the development of territories and its system of sharing with stakeholders the locally created value. For 10 years, its missions of general interest, drawn up in consultation with stakeholders, strengthen the close relationship with the territories.
Integrated actor, up to date with the energy business that it constantly upgrades through an approach of active innovation, the CNR provides services in management and valorization of the intermittent energies, and its engineering expertise in France and in thirty countries. It has an integrated laboratory - the CACOH - for analysis and physical modeling of hydraulic structures. The CNR also works on networks intelligence or energy storing and brings electric mobility through the Rhone corridor. It also develops partnerships for the provision in green energy of electric vehicles.
CNR is a company with a majority public capital (local authorities, Caisse des Dépôts). Its lead industrial shareholder is the GDF SUEZ Group.