NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — Athletic shoe maker New Balance says it plans to hire 40 more workers at its Norridgewock facility by the end of the month.

A company representative said Monday that the Boston-based company could add even more jobs if its plant converts to all natural gas, which could save up to 60 percent in energy costs.

John Campbell, director of corporate services at New Balance, spoke in favor of the tax break for a natural gas pipeline developer.

He said natural gas could help New Balance stay competitive by combining its oil, propane and electricity systems, saving 50 to 60 percent on its energy costs.

The Morning Sentinel says the decision could mean hundreds of new jobs for the region.