The Scottish government has named Skanska as preferred bidder for a new prison in the North-east of the country worth £100m.
HMP Grampian jail, due to open in Peterhead in 2014, will hold around 500 inmates.
The Scottish Prison Service has said it intends to award the main construction contract to Skanska, probably in November.
The new facility will replace two older jails in Aberdeen and Peterhead.
The new prison will house both male and female inmates.
Skanska saw off competition from Carillion, Kier, Interserve and Morgan Sindall to win the job.