US-carrier Seaboard Marine has emerged with a total of eight sub-panamax boxships under construction in China.

The Miami-based owner has doubled its tally at Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering in China after exercising options for three 3,500-teu dual fuel LNG-powered units.

The options are slated for delivery in April to September 2025.

Talk that options may have been exercised emerged late last year but was incorrectly attributed to Germany’s Hartmann Reederei.

While the German owner is managing the newbuilding project, the Leer-based company will not own any of the vessels it designed together with Germany’s HB Hunte Engineering.

The options leave Seaboard with six 3,500-teu vessels under construction at Taizhou Sanfu. The company inked the initial order in August 2021 for around $60m each.

The first of the high reefer units with 1,076 plugs are slated to join the US carrier in the first half of next year.

Seaboard has been renewing its fleet.

The company re-emerged on the newbuilding scene earlier this year with an order for up to four smaller boxships.

In June, the company signed up for two LNG dual-fuel 1,450-teu feeder boxship newbuildings at Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (CIMC SOE), plus two options.

The vessels will be fitted with MAN’s high-pressure dual-fuel main engine, they will be the world’s first to feature tri-lobe C-type fuel tanks.

Delivery of the 1,450-teu vessels is expected to be completed in late 2025.

The two vessels are costing Seaboard modestly below $49m per ship, according to a US source familiar with the project.

That the price is not more than the company expected, as the price included anticipated expenses for supervision, parts, supplies, lubes, and positioning, he added.

Seaboard Marine reported a drop in cargo volumes and revenues in the second quarter of the year.

Operating profits dropped to $60m in the three months to 1 July, from $155m in the same period in 2022.

But the marine division of Seaboard is expected to be profitable for the remainder of 2023, although operating income is expected to be lower than the prior year.