Ceredigion County Council has secured Welsh Government funding for the £31.6m Aberaeron Coastal Defence Scheme where BAM Nuttall is lined up as main contractor.
The council has been working on the plans for five years alongside consultant engineers Atkins.
Aberaeron is exposed to a wide range of wave conditions with storm waves entering through the harbour entrance causing overtopping of the harbour walls.
Work will involve construction of a new rock breakwater and extensive flood walls.
Discussions will now take place between representatives of the council, Atkins and BAM to finalise the contract award and the construction programme for the works.
Councillor Keith Henson, Cabinet Member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management said: “The rising sea levels and storms pose a serious threat to our seaside town of Aberaeron.
“Implementing this scheme will improve the level of protection afforded to the many businesses and homes in the town and will preserve the unique and historical character of the area for future generations.”