Unibio, a Denmark-based sustainable protein company, has appointed David Henstrom as its new CEO. This follows the decision of Henrik Busch-Larsen, the current CEO and member of the founding family, to step down from his role to pursue other business interests.

Busch-Larsen will continue to serve as a board member of the company and remains one of its major shareholders. Henstrom is expected to join the company in June.

Henstrom joins from Cargill, where he has worked since 1994 across a range of business units, most recently as vice president and managing director for growth ventures and commercial excellence at the Salt Group.

His long track record across Cargill’s food and nutrition businesses includes leading the formation of a joint venture with PURIS Proteins, which enabled Cargill’s entry into the pea protein business.

Unibio uses microbial fermentation to convert any natural gas or methane, including bio-gas, into high quality and sustainable protein for fish and animal feed.

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Its Uniprotein product has been approved by the EU for animal and fish feed and is certified organic by Organic Farmers & Growers Ltd, the leading organic certification control body approved by the UK Government.

It has a 70 percent protein content that easily compares with high-value proteins such as super-prime fishmeal and highly concentrated soy products, especially in aquaculture feeds. Uniprotein will be sold through a network of distributors, as well as directly to large key accounts around the world.

Last last month Unibio and Gulf Biotech, a Doha-based industrial biotech investor, signed a license agreement to produce protein from natural gas in Qatar.

The Qatar plant will initially have one module consisting of four fermenters with a total annual capacity of 6,000 metric tons of its Uniprotein.

The technology is based on a modular design, and extra modules can easily be added to expand the production.

The planned facility will be the region’s first natural gas conversion plant and will be based on Unibio’s ULoop technology, where natural gas is converted through continuous fermentation into protein.

Relative to soy production, Uniprotein uses 1/300th of the water and 1/25,000th of the land, according to Unibio.

“The abundance of natural gas in Qatar makes the country an obvious choice for the production of Uniprotein," said CEO Henrik Busch-Larsen.

In 2019, Unibio raised additional capital from investors, including Japan-based Mitsubishi.

"We got backed by one of the largest companies that is already heavily involved in gas trading and owns a lot of salmon production companies."

Mitsubishi owns Cermaq, one of the world's largest salmon farming groups, and Chile-based Salmones Humbolt.