SITC International Holdings has placed a $300m order for 10 container ships of 1,800 teu at China’s Huanghai Shipbuilding.

The newbuildings are expected to cost in the region of $30m to $32m, with delivery in 2024, according to Alphaliner.

The order would lift the boxship newbuilding portfolio of the intra-Asian specialist to around 42 vessels.

Hong Kong-listed SITC already has orders for 32 ships, including 10 vessels of 1,023 teu on order at South Korea’s Dae Sun International Holdings.

A further 22 boxships of between 1,800 teu through to 2,600 teu are on order at Chinese shipyard Yangzijiang Shipbuilding.

SITC has made what is seen as an opportunistic move by securing newbuilding slots originally negotiated by Geneva-based shipping giant Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC).

TradeWinds reported in April that MSC initially approached the Shandong province-based shipbuilder and had even inked a letter of intent with the yard.

MSC later approached Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding for the 1,800-teu boxships. In April, the liner giant struck a deal for up to 10 Bangkokmax container ship newbuildings worth more than $300m.

According to Alphaliner, SITC’s newbuildings are expected to be gearless variants of the “Huanghai 1800” type.

These have been ordered by Asean Seas Line, Dandong Marine, Briese Schiffahrt, Songa Box, Meratus and Hai An Transport, and Shenzhen-listed manufacturer Loctek.

With the latest order, SITC will have 21 vessels of 1,800 teu on order at Yangzijiang and Huanghai.

SITC is the world’s 15th-largest container line and presently operates a fleet of 98 ships with an overall capacity of 146,000 teu, according to Alphaliner.