Eighty-eight vessels from Qatar bearing cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) used the Suez Canal in 2006. Of these, 74 were bound for Spain, six to France, five to Belgium and three to other destinations, according to Ahmed El Manakhly, Director of the Planning and Research Department at the Suez Canal Authority.
With these vessels having a draft of around 40 feet, the Suez Canal would have more than adequate depth to allow them to pass through. Draft refers to a ship's minimum depth of water to float. The Suez Canal's draft is at 62 feet.
In 2006, there were 287 LNG carrier trips via the Suez Canal, a number that will reportedly rise to 366, a combined capacity of 52.6m cubic metres by 2010. Tolls are collected on the basis of the size of the vessel.
Since 1994, the Suez Canal Authority has been offering the LNG industry rebates
of 30 per cent on transit tolls and since 1999, cargo incentives have also been offered. [Source: The Peninsula]