In 1992, acting on the foresight that membranes would be the next big trend for the water industry, Hydrochem obtained the exclusive rights from a supplier to distribute membranes and membrane filtration plants to industrial customers. Not only did the company acquire the knowledge of membrane installation, it also sparked some early research into membrane technologies.
In 1994, just as China was opening its doors to foreign investments, Olivia decided to venture into the vast Chinese market, setting up an office in Shanghai. It was an uphill task for a young Singapore company with limited resources and little knowledge of a market which had not even heard of, let alone embrace, the concept of wastewater treatment. Patience, perseverance and optimism paid off eventually, and the Hyflux’s presence in Shanghai also allowed it to serve existing clients in Singapore who were moving their production lines to China.
The late 1990s saw Hydrochem establishing a reputation for itself in the area of membrane filtration technology for the water industry. Because the technology was relatively new to industries, the Company conducted more than 100 pilot plant trials of membrane applications and water treatment technologies for the pharmaceutical, food and electronics industries. Its efforts paid off when the company began to secure larger projects.