A formula one engine is around 51% efficient (and if it weren't for the regulation and rules it might have been close to 55 to 60% efficient read somewhere in Google) that the extreme side but there are engines which are more than 50% efficient eg."achates power opposed postion engine", "Toyota free piston engine" (net efficiency thermal to electric) on the other hand a state of the art coal powerplant are 47.7% efficient while producing more emissions and is not as flexible with fluctuating demands (it drops efficiency if done so).
Here comes the economic aspect, the 47.7% efficient coal power plant is located in German (rdk8) costs 4,500,000 usd per megawatt and sells it's electricity for $35-39 MWh (roughly)
If replaced with the above mentioned ice engines (not f1 engine), then we can see that it would cost 5,500,000 usd per megawatt but can sell its electricity for more than double the price to $88-95 MWh (assuming it from natural gas plants)
Even though the fuel costs are higher compared to coal you should be able to generate more profit (based on some questionable napkin math), so why not?