During the soviet time the activity of the town was depending from one employer – secret militaristic plant "Silmet". Today business environment in Sillamäeis strongly changed, and now the town is among the most rapidly developing ones in Estonia.
The main benefit for business, industry and trade development is the location of the town: proximity of EU and Russian border – a transit corridor, Tallinn – St. Petersburg motorway runs through the town, Tallinn – St. Peterburg railway runs 2 km appart from the town and has a branch conected to Sillamäe. Other beneficial features include: 600 hectares industrial area with highly developed infrastructure is isolated from the living blocks, Free Customs Zone and Port of Sillamäe.
Sillamäe Business Incubator was createdon purpose to support starting enterprises. There are very flexible, mobile and varied labour resources. There is about 150000 people living in the area within 25 km radius apart from Sillamäe. Sillamäe workers are highly qualified, as historically here were concentrated top class specialists and engineers from all over the Soviet Union to serve the militaristic plant. There are also presently very good conditions for vocational and highest education nearby. That also helps in efficient labour market development in the town.
The main actor in the entrepreneur life is AS Molycorp Silmet. AS Molycorp Silmet was bought by American corporation Molycorp in 2011 and continues AS Silmet success in Sillamäe. Molycorp Silmet produces mainly tantal, niobium (Silmet has the leading place in the world) and other rare earth metals, that are demanded on EU, American and Japanese markets.
The rest companies, that belong to a concern and Free Customs Zone are: Silport Kinnisvara (operation of infrastructure), Sillamäe SEJ (electrical and heat plant), AS Ökosil (environmental projects), AS Alexela Sillamäe (petrol and oil logistics), AS BCT and AS Tanchem (chemical products logistics) and AS Port of Sillamäe. Another successful company is Aktekno Eesti OÜ (ex. AS Polyform), that is active on foreign market too. Originally they were producing cases for videotapes and DVDs, but now they produce environmentally friendly food containers on the highest technological equipment. They supply their production to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Italy, Russia, Czech Republic and Iceland.
AS NorwesMetall produces metal constructions. Companies from different EU countries buy metal containers. Environmentally friendly and contemporary technologies are used on the factory for recycling of old accumulators AS Ecometal. Many inhabitants of Sillamäe town are working on oil shale mines and open pits of AS Eesti Energia. AS Esfil Tehno is producing filtering materials from micro- and nanofibres.
Last years a big business player arrived to Sillamäe– it's the worlds one of the biggest water filter and equipment manufacturer Aquaphor (Westaqua-Invest OÜ).
This brief list of biggest Sillamäe companies shows that there is very active and highly developed business environment as well as many new opportunities.