Greenpeace has signed a contract with the Fassmer shipyard for the construction of the Rainbow Warrior III.

The ship will be delivered in 2011 in time for Greenpeace’s 40th anniversary and will include the latest green technology.

The ship will principally use wind energy, with the option to switch over to engine-powered, diesel-electric propulsion.

The vessel will use eco-friendly technologies to reduce fuel consumption while heat created by generators will be re-used to heat water and for engine pre-heating.

The A-frame design of the mast and the positioning of the sails have been optimised for efficiency and the shape of the hull has been designed for maximum fuel conservation, Greenpeace said.

It is the first time in the organisation’s history that it has chosen to commission a purpose-built vessel instead of refurbishing an older one.