The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has invited pre-qualifying tenders to propose designs and build the HMP Grampian.
Bids of around £50M to £100M are expected to be tabled by interested parties, but the contract is still subject to planning permission and funding being granted by the Scottish Government.
HMP Grampian has been proposed on part of the current HMP Peterhead site, replacing both that prison and one in Aberdeen when it is completed.
Three separate accommodation blocks for men, women and male young offenders will have a combined total of 500 cells.
Tenders will be provided a design developed to stage D of the Royal Institute of British Architect’s Plan of Work as part of the single stage design and construct strategy. The SPS will advise then advise bidders on which parts of the design have to remain the same and what parts are open to being redesigned and developed as part of the works.