The Kuwait Fund for Economic Development (KFAED) signed Monday a KD 13.5 million-loan agreement with the Republic of Sudan to help finance the construction and equipping of integrated laboratories project in mining sector.The loan agreement was signed on behalf of the Republic of Sudan by Mr. Bader-Aldeen Mahmoud Abass, Minister of Finance National Economy and on behalf of the Fund by Mr. Abdulwahab Al-Bader, Director-General of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development."This loan will help Sudan's boost the capacity of its mining sector, increase its production as well as make the best use of its mineral resources, " Minister Abbas said at the agreement signing ceremony.He expressed gratitude for KFAED's support and finance to development projects across Sudan.Abbas added that Sudanese government is looking forward to expanding cooperation with KFAED to new sectors as well as to luring Kuwaiti investors to invest in Sudan.For his part, KFAED Director General Al-Bader highlighted the deeply-rooted cooperation between the Kuwaiti Fund and Sudan.He asserted that the KFAED would continue its support to development projects in Sudan.The project aims at supporting and developing the data capacity for the Ministry of Mining in order to have better use of the mineral wealth of the country through the construction of integrated laboratories and central research buildings for the analyses and studies required to establish data base to calculate the actual reserve of various mineral wealth in different parts of the country. The project is expected to enable Sudan to take the proper decisions regarding the investment in Mining Sector which will have positive impact on the economic and social development of the country.It consists of the construction of about 12 specialized labs with equipment on a total area of about 100,000 m in a location about 70 km. north of the capital Khartoum. It also includes the material and sophisticated equipment, administration building and storage areas to enable the labs to receive samples and proceed the analysis properly. The total cost of the Project is estimated at about KD. 21 million of which the foreign currency is equivalent to about USD 74 million which represents about 65 percent of the total cost of the Project.The Fund's loan will cover about 68 percent of the total cost of the project and the Government of Sudan will cover the rest of the finance. The Loan will be for a period of 20 years including 4 years as a grace period, and will be amortized in 38 semi-annual installments, the first of which will be due on the 1st date on which any interest or other charge on the loan shall fall due, after the elapse of the above-mentioned grace period.The Loan bears an interest at 2 percent per annum, in addition to 0.5 percent per annum to cover administrative costs and other expenses incurred in the implementation of the Loan Agreement.Upon signature of this Loan Agreement, this loan will be the 26th loan extended by the Fund to the Republic of Sudan considering that the Fund had already extended to the Republic of Sudan 25 loans before with a total amount of KD 252 million for financing projects in different sectors. The Fund had extended to Sudan one technical assistance for a total amount of KD 54,000 which was integrated in the concerned Loan. The Fund extended also to Sudan three grants with a total amount of KD. 333,000 (USD 1.1 million) completely withdrawn.