US corporation to provide $20m loan for Centrepoint, Karachi

WASHINGTON: A US finance institution, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), announced on Monday to extend a $20 million loan towards completion of a 28-story office building in Karachi.Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who presided over the signing ceremony of the arrangement, hailed the transaction, saying it represents the tremendous opportunities existing between the two countries for stronger economic cooperation.

“I hope this is the beginning of a long-term association,” Dr Shaikh said. The presence of the modern building will help the country attract multinational investors by meeting an urgent need for top-quality office space.The property will feature several green building characteristics, including a natural gas fired cogeneration power plant, which will increase its energy efficiency and mitigate negative environmental impacts.

Project sponsor TPL Properties expects to complete construction of the Centrepoint office building in central Karachi in 2012, and will then begin leasing space to large local and multinational organisations.“This is a sign of close cooperation between Pakistan and the United States, the private sectors of the two countries have huge potential to further expand bilateral relationship,” Ali Jameel, Chief Executive Officer of TPL Holdings, said.

In the process, the project will provide new management and professional employment opportunities with benefits, including those specific to female employees. The building will be fully automated, with world-class information technology (IT) and security systems. This office building will help Karachi meet a growing need for high-quality office space, creating professional jobs in the process and becoming only the second property in the city to offer services such as world-class IT and security systems, OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield said.

“We expect that its many green building features will encourage similarly environmentally-conscious construction in Pakistan.” In addition to the cogeneration plant, the office space will feature an exhaust heat recovery system, air dehumidification using heating pipes, condensation collection for water usage, efficient lighting fixtures, and clean eco-friendly refrigerants used for air conditioning. – Dailytimes