Aluminum group Speira will halve production at its foundries in Germany in the latest such move by European metal producers in response to soaring energy costs.

The decision to cut production from next month at the Rheinwerk plant near Düsseldorf to 70,000 tonnes per year comes a day after Aluminum Dunkerque, Europe’s largest primary aluminum smelter, said that it would reduce its production by more than a fifth.

Speira boss Einar Glomnes said energy prices had become too high to maintain production at current levels and he did not expect prices to fall in the near term.

“We face similar challenges to many other European aluminum foundries,” said the German group’s managing director. “This development requires us to reduce production at our foundry by 50% until further notice in order to maintain the value of Speira.”

Eurométaux, the European trade grouping of non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, zinc and nickel, sent a warning to European leaders on Wednesday against the “existential threat” to the sector during the winter due to the soaring prices of energy without government intervention.

Aluminum is used in strategic sectors such as aerospace, defense and automotive, as well as in buildings and to produce beverage cans.

External supplies will replace reduced production, underpinning industry fears that more carbon-intensive imports will fill the void left by European cuts, Speira said.

Known as “solid electricity”, aluminum is one of the sectors most vulnerable to soaring energy prices after Russia limited gas supplies to Europe.

A tonne of aluminum takes around 15 megawatt hours of electricity to produce, enough to power an average UK home for nearly five years.